LONDON Numonyx BV, the flash memory company formed by the pooling of the memory operations of Intel Corp. and STMicroelectronics NV, has confirmed that it is skipping a node and moving "as quickly as possible" to bring out a phase-change memory (PCM) on a 45-nm manufacturing process.
EE Times Europe indicated that Numonyx was likely to jump the 65-nm node in a story published February 12.
At the formal launch of Numonyx (see March 31 story) Brian Harrison, chief executive officer, confirmed that the phase-change memory, currently sampling as a 128-Mbit device on 90-nm technology would move to the 45-nm node.
"The purpose of that [90-nm memory] is as a technology learning vehicle. While we have customers for the memory it is not competitive with NOR flash in terms of density. We expect to be on 45-nm in the middle of 2009," said Ed Doller, chief technology officer with Numonyx. "Our number one goal is to get a single-level cell PCM on 45-nm as quickly as possible. MLC [multi-level cell] we have talked about and a demo in silicon is the first thing. There's a lot of product engineering to follow."
Doller declined to say what memory capacity would be offered in PCM on 45-nm in 2009. "At 45-nm it will be very competitive with NOR flash with the added functionality of PCM," said Doller. Doller said that the Numonyx NOR flash memory, which is expected to be on 45-nm in the fourth quarter of 2008, would start at 1-Gbit.
The phase-change memory is based on a thermally-induced reversible change in a chalcogenide material - between an amorphous and crystalline state. The 128-Mbit device has been designed as a pin-compatible NOR replacement that provides fast read and write speeds at lower power than conventional flash, and allows for the bit alterability normally seen in RAM.