Elpida creates ReRAM prototype

Researchers working for Elpida Memory have emerged from their smoke filled labs having developed what they think is the first-ever high-speed non-volatile resistance memory (ReRAM) prototype.

Working with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Elpida built a 50nm prototype chip which has a memory cell array operation of 64 megabits.

According to Digitimes, this is one of the highest densities possible for ReRAM.

The prototype needs a lot more work.

Further work on ReRAM development is being carried out by Sharp, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the University of Tokyo. Currently DRAM is better than non-volatile memory with respect to read/write speeds and endurance. It also loses data when the power supply is removed. NAND flash memory can retain data even when the power is removed but is much slower.

ReRAM uses material which changes resistance in response to changes in the electric voltage. This new type of non-volatile memory can store data even when the power supply is turned off, and can read/write data at high speeds using little voltage.

ReRAM has a write speed of 10 nanoseconds which is the same as DRAM, and write endurance of more than a million times, or more than 10 times greater than NAND flash.

Elpida wants to continue development so that it can be in the shops by 2013. It will be a gigabit capacity class using a 30nm process technology.

If they can get it cheap enough then it will cut memory power consumption and be an attractive storage option for smartphones, tablet devices and ultra-thin light notebook PCs, the company claimed.