LONDON – 4DS Inc. is working with the Data Storage Institute (DSI) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore to develop a 16-kbit resistive random access memory (RRAM) prototype and memory controller.
RRAMs are non-volatile memories based on materials, usually metal oxides, whose resistivity can be electrically switched between high and low conductive states. RRAM is becoming of interest for future scaled memories because of supposed scaling and endurance limitations of charge-based flash devices. However, proving the functionality, reliability and scalability of RRAM materials has barely begun.
According to 4DS (Fremont, Calif.) its RRAM can be manufactured using a fraction of the number of the mask steps used to make flash memory. Its metal-oxide heterojunction operation (MOHJO) device is produced in a back end of line (BEOL) CMOS-compatible process, 4DS said. In addition to the 16-kbit RRAM prototype 4DS and DSI intend to develop a memory control IC for the 16-kbit and conduct preliminary testing to verify the functionality of the controller.
DSI has experience in non-volatile memory R&D, including integrated chip design, device design, material synthesis and characterization, coding and signal processing, tester development and testing.
4DS did not state how quickly it expects DSI to produce the prototypes.
"DSI has built up immense capabilities and extensive research activities on non-volatile memories such as STT-MRAM, PCRAM and RRAM. This collaboration would allow us to come one step closer to realizing the next generation of non-volatile memories. RRAM is one of the potential candidates to replace conventional flash memory and further push next-generation NVM technology towards storage products with high-density, high-speed and low power consumption," said Pantelis Alexopoulos, executive director of DSI, in a statement issued by 4DS.
"The partnership with DSI will accelerate the integration of 4DS proprietary processes into CMOS process, and demonstration of the scalability of 4DS' unique MOHJO RRAM cell structure as a high density memory array," said Dongmin Chen, chief scientist at 4DS, in the same statement. Chen is a former Senior Rowland Fellow at Harvard.
4DS is a privately-held U.S. corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of 4D-S Pty. Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia).