GENEVA -- STMicroelectronics here today announced plans to collaborate with Ovonyx Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., to jointly develop thin-film nonvolatile memory technology for a range of chip applications.
The R&D partnership aims to apply Ovonyx's memory technology to STMicroelectronics' processes for nonvolatile storage in microcontrollers, memory chips and other ICs. Ovonyx's technology uses Ovonic reversible phase-change memory processes, which were initially developed by Energy Conversion Devices Inc. in Troy, Mich., and previously used in rewritable CD and DVD optical memory disks.
According to STMicroelectronics, the Ovonyx technology potentially offers benefits over existing nonvolatile memory technologies, including faster read/write, higher endurance and scalability. Under the alliance, STMicroelectronics will use technology on a non-exclusive, royality-bearing basis.
The European chip maker said Ovonyx's thin-film technology can potentially be used in stand-alone memory--such as replacement of flash and DRAMs--as well as in embedded applications in MCUs and reconfigurable MOS logic. The partnership between STMicroelectronics and Ovonyx was announced on the same day that Infineon Technologies AG and Toshiba Corp. disclosed their alliance to create a competing nonvolatile memory technology, based on ferroelectric materials (see today's story).