This is intriguing. Another memory chip start-up founded by a Mosys alum. Another one I know that is quite far along is GigaDevice in Beijing, China. The founder also worked at Mosys at one time.
See the story here: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1264568&page_number=1
The point is that after the memory business became no longer fashionable and a lot of big chip companies retreated from the business, we are beginning to see a growing number of 'boutique' memory companies.
Does anyone know how many more of those small, but inventive memory technology companies are out there?
I have to wonder if the market has the stomach for a new memory technology. With a number of different memory technologies already floating around, and so much innovation focus moving up the technology food chain, is there time and space to evolve a new one?
I believe the only selling point is "compatible with logic" or only 1 extra mask plus traditional logic process, enable its extremly low mask count and cost, which is the major drive force in this slow down and cut throat rivalry market.
What I would like to know about this memory is: Is it secure? As a OTP one of its major applications might be the storage of proprietary system software, security keys, and the like. But that information needs to be protected against reverse-engineering. How resistant to probing, or even electron microscope scanning to recover the data?
Probably the best OTP technology for security from probing is anti-fuse. Very small structural changes make the difference between a '1' and a '0'.
Flash can be fairly secure from this type of probing too. Many probe techniques would destroy the charge on the storage cell making it difficult to 'read'. Microsemi for example uses Flash on the IGLOO2 and SmartFusion2 devices. These Microsemi devices also include anti-tampering features that can detect if lasers or probes are being used to 'attack' the devices and if desired the devices can react by quickly erasing the sensitive data stored in the device using a 'zeroization' feature. Now that's real security!
@drFPGA, yes the antifuse is incredibly difficult to probe and thus is highly secure. It's a good technology.
Tamper detection is also great for security, but as this is a NV memory, I'm wondering if that is applicable here. No way to erase it quickly, I dont think. Guess we'll know once the details are released.
The more such NV startups the better. I just wish they would look beyond the near term opportunities in current applications. If companies such as as Rangduru can create nonvolatile logic which can come close eventually to the size and transistor clock rate of traditional CMOS, it will fundamentally change the way we think about system power, reliability, fault tolerance and security.
In traditional embedded apps the combination of nonvolatile logic AND memory is already making the use of checkpointing in designs requiring rock solid fault tolerance much simpler. And a number of techniques have been developed to make them not easily hackable.
If and when there is a viable NV memory AND logic technology that can be scaled to nanometer geometries, its use in big systems, such as corporate server farms, will be nothing short of revolutionary. Currently to maintain continuous Internet access without disruption, they currently use complex active replication software to maintain system state and data when power goes down or a system is hacked. Depending on the degree of replication, that requires duplication of backup systems, further increasing the gargantuan amounts of power such systems require.
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