Tag: reram

Adesto Technologies Launches IoTs Memory


Sunnyvale, CA – Adesto Technologies is introducing an ultra-low power memory solution with the ability to aid in the design of Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications that can run for years on a single battery.

Adesto also announced that the new 45nm based CBRAM Products will be manufactured by TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor Company  (TPSCo), 300mm, Hokuriku, Japan Fab.

There’s much to like with their selection of “Moneta” for the branding name. Moneta is the goddess of memory and money – also prosperity and finances. In fact the English word “Money” derives from this lovely goddess’s name.

Adesto went public last October on the NASDAQ Exchange with the call letters IOTS, a straight forward play on the companies intentions. Long thought a takeover target by many analysts the company seems to have convinced acquisition suitors that they are much better off by leaving Adesto an independent entity – this gives the company the ability to adapt their Resistive Conductive-Bridging Random Access Memory (CBRAM) to a multiplicity of special design requirements for the rapidly expanding IoTs segment. Adesto, in effect, has been able to dodge the takeover bullet by being much more useful by remaining small while offering their products through multiple avenues from discrete devices through BEOL SoCs.

Adesto, having completed their developmental stage, is now transitioning to the commercialization and expansion phase of their technology. Several analysts expect that the company will continue to capture a significant portion of the non-volatile memory outside of the commodity data storage market and enjoy profitable royalty licensing from a number of other markets.

The newly introduced memory is entering “…, a hardware landscape (that) is changing quickly,” according to Narbeh Derhacobian, chief executive officer of Adesto. “Off the-shelf memory products were appropriate for the smartphone and PC markets, but they cannot satisfy the requirements of a new world of connected things. Unless we can dramatically reduce power consumption, the cost of changing batteries will prevent the IoT from becoming a reality. At Adesto, we are focused on this emerging market, and Moneta demonstrates our ability to execute and deliver next-generation products to meet its requirements.”

Adesto is a case book example of a company that has been “tinkering away” with a technology that the greater market paid little attention to. Gaining traction has been a continuing mantra of Adesto’s management. Along the way they gathered a number of “Black Swan Outliers” helping them to steer their way to, and carve out an unoccupied niche in the ultra-low power, non-volatile memory for the Internet-of-Things market – a market that is now enjoying a sudden and near explosive growth rate. Let us all remember that there is no such thing as an “easy” technology.

Viking Technology and Sony in ReRAM memory mashup

Viking-+-Sony-LogoViking Technology, a Sanmina Company, announced that it  is  collaborating with Sony Corporation to bring ReRAM Storage Class Memory to the NVDIMM market.

“Viking has a strong legacy developing Non-Volatile DIMM (NVDIMM) products over several generations from DDR2 to DDR4,” said Hamid Shokrgozar, President, Viking Technology. “This partnership with Sony solidifies a long term roadmap for our NVDIMM products by utilizing next generation ReRAM Storage Class Memory from Sony. This product roadmap is also very important for our customers, who are deploying this key technology in their next generation computing and storage products. It also sets the stage for future Persistent Memory module solutions not only for Viking but for the enterprise storage and server markets.”

According to the company’s announcement, “The collaboration between the companies launches a significant advance in Storage Class Memory system product development, designed specifically for enterprise computing customers. Sony ReRAM Storage Class Memory delivers performance and endurance that greatly exceeds NAND flash, while simultaneously providing the data non-volatility and module memory capacity desired for persistent applications”.

“We are excited and looking forward to the co-development with Viking Technology on the next generation of NVDIMM products,” said Terushi Shimizu, Senior Vice President and Deputy President of Device Solutions Business Group, Sony Corporation. “At this stage in ReRAM development, we are looking ahead to the implementation of this technology accelerating real-world cloud datacenter applications such as In-Memory Databases and Real Time Analytics. This will prove to be an exciting new chapter in the decade long development of our ReRAM memory technology.”

Non-Volatile DIMMs, often termed NVDIMMs, are designed to deliver high performance, endurance and reliability to next generation servers that are NVDIMM enabled. Traditionally, enterprise applications could not depend on main memory (DRAM) alone because it is volatile (loss of data upon power failure). Therefore, batteries, Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS’s) and techniques such as check-pointing have been used to ensure data durability, but at the cost of performance. NVDIMMs now enable server and storage arrays to utilize persistent memory that delivers both the highest performance and 100 percent data integrity.

The Coming out of ReRAM; a Resistive Memory Family Member

The real eye opener is the strange bedfellows that are making a sudden appearance in what can only be called the “Resistive Memory Rush”. Most in the analyst community expected such a forward thinking announcement to be coming from companies like Samsung, Toshiba and SK Hynix. That it came from Viking and Sony only makes sense if you’ve been immersed in the ruminations of the resistive universe for the last 15 years.

In discussions with Viking over the past several years I’ve asked about how they expected to position the company with the coming advent of In-Memory Database computing – this is their answer.

Of all the companies that have gone from memory modules to SSDs Viking is to date the only company to make the tie-up with a semiconductor supplier of resistive memory with the potential IMDB marketplace. Viking has set their strategy on supplying the IMDB marketplace with what might be called “Storage Class DIMMs” that support legacy DRAM with DDR4 stacked DRAMs coupled with Persistent Storage provided by Sony ReRAMs.

TechEye Take

This announcement, in no small way, adds further credence to the validation of resistive RAM as a key element in systems that will be announced in the next several days and should quiet the naysaying into obscurity.

The downside is the lack of numbers. Intel/Micron hasn’t provided any except comparison numbers but none that could be plugged into an Excel spreadsheet. Stay tuned…,

ARM gets interested in CeRAM

ARM Holdings is apparently snuffling around a new non-volatile memory technology that could scale further and perform better than flash memory and resistive RAM (ReRAM).

Carlos Paz de Araujo, a professor at the University of Colorado who is the leading advocate for development of CeRAM said he has interested in the technology from ARM.

Speaking to Electronics 360,  de Araujo said that ARM was supporting his research into a non-filamentary, non-volatile memory technology based on the metal-insulator Mott transition in nickel oxide and other transition metal oxides (TMOs).

Correlated-Electron RAM (CeRAM) can be used to build devices as small as 5 nanometers using an atomic force microscope. Recently de Araujo came up with some sexy “new switch” capabilities of the device. To date CeRAM devices have only been fabricated at dimensions of about 0.8 micron.

Typically R&D that is beyond the scaling of mainstream silicon manufacturing processes and materials has taken many years. But Professor Araujo has been working on the technology for already for five years and there is a large body of resistive RAM (ReRAM) research in place globally as non-volatile memory has been a hotly pursued research topic for several years.

CeRAM differs from other ReRAM developments in that it does not depend on atomic transport to make and break filaments, which brings with it issues of thermal dependence and reliability.

It uses a metal-insulator transition that occurs throughout the crystal structure based on quantum mechanical electron correlation effects,.

This can be considered as a quantum mechanical tuning of electron bands in the material due to electron-electron effects within atoms.

ARM is becoming increasingly relevant to achieving energy-efficiency goals for future mobile and Internet of Fings (IoT). 

UCL makes ultra-fast ReRAM chip breakthrough

Scientists have made steps towards ultra-fast ReRAM chips that could soon be used in memory devices, as well as potentially finding applications in CPUs.

Researchers at University College London claim to have created a purely silicon oxide-based ReRAM chip that can operate in ambient conditions, with much more efficient switching.

The various types of memory such as flash, SRAM or DRAM, or countless others, are all highly specialised in their abilities. Each has their upsides and downsides and generally find themselves tailored towards certain applications. DRAM speed, for instance, is counterbalanced by its leaky capacitors and volatility.

However, researchers are looking towards a wide variety of potential technologies that could offer the full range of benefits including high speeds, non-volatility and dense storage.

Resistive RAM or ReRAM memory chips are one of them.  ReRAM chips are based on memristor technology that is able to ‘remember’ resistance changes when a voltage is applied and then turned off.

The researchers say that the ReRAM memory chips need just a thousandth of the energy than standard flash memory chips, and are roughly 100 times faster.

The team at UCL developed the new ReRAM structure by accident while attempting to produce silicon based LEDs.  Up until now, ReRAM has been developed using metal oxides which are more difficult to produce and are less easily integratable.

Instead, the team came up with a silicon oxide device that can quickly and predictably form filaments of silicon that change resistivity, meaning that the semiconducting materials can ‘switch’ from one state to another.

The chips could be produced transparently which would allow, among other applications, use in see-through smartphone touch screens. 

The team is already in talks with major semiconductor companies with regards to the patented device. It is not surprising considering that ReRAM has already piqued the interest of the likes of Toshiba, Sharp and Elpida.  

One of the researchers, Tony Kenyon, told TechEye that firms have been working on releasing metal oxide based devices – citing Hynix as an example – but the silicon versions will take up to three years to become available.

According to Kenyon, ReRAM memory has been benchmarked against flash memory, and offers significant benefits.

“It is at least a hundred times faster than flash, and  the energy required to switch is very very low, by a factor of ten thousand or so,”  Kenyon said, speaking with TechEye.

“The other nice thing is that our devices can be stacked in three dimensions – it is potentially very high density,” he said.

With memristor properties of variable resistance, which makes the device behave like a neuron, it could be possible to perform both CPU and memory tasks, he said.

“In a conventional processdor you would have processing unit, and the majority of chip nowadays is in memory, and the logic processor will be moving data in and out of memory, processing it and moving it out again,” Kenyon said.

“Using our devices you can leave the devices where it is, you don’t have to move it around so potentially it is much faster and much more efficient,” he said. “It provides both functions.”

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. 

Japanese giants developing superfast RAM chip

Sharp and Elpida are collaborating to develop a type of memory chip that will
write data 10,000 times faster than NAND flash.

That’s according to Japanese wire nikkei.com, which reports that the device – resistive random access memory (ReRAM) will come to market by 2013.

Other bodies including the University of Tokyo, equipment manufacturings, and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are also joining to work on the venture, according to the wire.

The devices will be built using a 30 nanometre process technology and, it’s claimed, the devices will also offer low power consumption as well as being far cheaper to make than current NAND devices.

The report is here (subscription required).