The stand-alone emerging NVM market will be driven low-latency storage and persistent memory. Intel has launched solid-state drives made with 3D XPoint that include the Alder Stream SSD. This is the first product that employs the second-generation 3D XPoint with four stacked PCM layers.
Intel claims to have 200 of the world's leading companies either deploying Optane drives or in the proof-of-concept stage, Yole said.
The sales ramp for STT-MRAM chips for low-latency storage is taking longer than expected. Similarly the ramp of stand-alone 3D ReRAM. Solid-state drives based on ReRAM are likely to be introduced based on next-generation protocols such as CXL and Gen-Z but these are not mature yet, Yole said.
Stand-alone emerging non-volatile memory revenues 2020 and 2026. Source: Yole Developpement.
Yole's enthusiasm for emerging NVM is partly driven by the number of introductions over the last 12 months.
Sony has introduced GPS chips incorporating embedded MRAM made for its by Samsung using 28nm FDSOI manufacturing process. These have been designed into Huawei smartwatches, Yole said. Ambiq has introduced a low-power MRAM MCU made on TSMC's 22nm ULL (see Ambiq launches Apollo4 SoC on 22ULL). A number of eMRAM-based devices could enter volume production in 2021, including GreenWave's AI processors made using Globalfoundries' eMRAM on 22nm FDSOI (see Greenwaves stresses GAP9's hearing credentials).
Products incorporating embedded RRAM (eRRAM) also hit the market in 2020 with Nuvoton introducing IC devices with 40nm OxRAM for security applications. Nuvoton Technology Corp., a subsidiary of Winbond Electronics, acquired Panasonic's semiconductor operations in 2020 for $250 million. Panasonic already had some 40nm ReRAM products in the market and had partnered with UMC on their manufacture.
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