LONDON Ė Two unnamed strategic investors have led a round of investment funding for Nantero Inc., a small privately-held company that has been developing carbon nanotube (CNT) memory since about 2000. Nantero said the financing is worth more than $10 million and that nanotube-based RAM (NRAM) would be brought into production in the "near term."
A few weeks ago Belgian microelectronics research center IMEC announced a joint development program with Nantero Inc. (Woburn, Mass.) to make carbon nanotube non-volatile memories with critical dimensions of less than 20-nm, and senior IMEC executives expressed the hope that the memory could be deployed as a replacement for DRAM.
Two strategic investors, engaged in development partnerships with Nantero, led the latest venture capital round which also included existing investors Charles River Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Globespan Capital Partners, Stata Venture Partners and Harris & Harris Group. In a statement Nantero said that in the last year the company has entered into partnerships with major corporations planning to commercialize NRAM.
"This round will help us support our partners that are bringing NRAM into production in the near term. We are excited to be working with multiple forward-looking industry leaders that see the value NRAM can bring," said Greg Schmergel, co-founder and CEO of Nantero, in a statement.
"After substantial development in multiple production fabs, NRAM has demonstrated its value to several prominent customers and is on track to soon come to market as both a standalone and embedded memory," said Bruce Sachs, general partner at Charles River Ventures, in a statement issued by Nantero.
Nantero has fabricated 4-Mbit arrays of NRAM in CMOS production environments, with speeds comparable to DRAM, low operating power, permanent non-volatility and non-destructive read, expected unlimited endurance and high temperature retention.
In 2006 the company announced it had fabricated and successfully tested a 22-nm memory switch based on mat-like composition of CNTs laid across an etched trench. In this configuration the membrane-like conductive matrix of CNTs displays a bi-modal stability with different resistance states.
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