Crossbar ReRAM in production at SMIC

January 12, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Crossbar Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), a developer of non-volatile resistive RAM (ReRAM) based on silver-over-amorphous-silicon technology kept its promise to be in production in 2016.

The Crossbar ReRAM for embedded non-volatile memory applications is in production at partner foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) using a 40nm CMOS process and is sampling to SMIC (Shanghai, China) customers, according to Sylvain Dubois, vice president of strategic marketing and business development.

Dubois told EE Times Europe that not only is 40nm ReRAM in production but that production on 28nm CMOS would follow soon. Dubois defined that to mean the first half of 2017 but he declined to say whether that would be with SMIC or another foundry.

Founded in 2010 Crossbar is well-backed with more than $80 million raised to date including support from the China-based venture capital firm Northern Light Venture Capital. It is pursuing an IP licensing business model.

Crossbar, is one of many companies racing to develop a non-volatile memory technology that could replace flash memory and scale to 28nm and beyond. ReRAM has looked a likely candidate after the failure of phase change memory to succeed in the market place. But there are numerous versions of ReRAM technology and in many cases a deep understanding of the physics behind switching and failure modes has been missing. Some have even indicated that Magnetic RAM could be the non-volatile memory to win out at the 28nm node (see MRAM is leading embedded NVM race, says IMEC researcher and IEDM: Magnetic RAM debuts as 28nm embedded NVM).

Another rival is non-volatile memory based on a layer of carbon nanotubes in a matrix as offered by Nantero Inc. (Woburn, Mass.) which has licensed its technology to fabless chip company Fujitsu Semiconductor and to foundry Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor for use at 55nm and with 40nm to follow (see Fujitsu is licensee of Nantero's carbon-nanotube RAM).

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