First carbon nanotube NRAM products due in 2020, says Nantero

April 14, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
First carbon nanotube NRAM products due in 2020, says Nantero
Nantero Inc., a company that has spent nearly two decades pioneering the use of carbon nanotubes as a semiconductor memory technology, is expecting the first products to emerge later this year.

Bill Gervasi, principal systems architect at Nantero (Woburn, Mass.), said the company is also busy helping to install its technology in a memory production line of a licensee. Gervasi said he expects high capacity memories to come out of that facility in 2021.

The enduring interest in NRAM – despite a protracted coming to market – is because the technology is compact, offers non-volatility with the speed of DRAM, with potential for scalability beyond DRAM and superior endurance to flash. It is closer to a universal memory than almost all of the rich field of emerging memory technologies – PCM, MRAM, ReRAM. Whereas those memory technologies are generally pitched to replace flash memory, NRAM could theoretically find slots both as a DRAM replacement and as a storage memory replacing flash. NRAM has been thwarted to date largely by the economics of replacing incumbent technologies that are low cost due to their established scale of manufacturing

Now the first products are expected from Nantero's licensee Fujitsu Semiconductor in partnership with USJC – a subsidiary of foundry United Microelectronics Corp.  Fujitsu took out its license in 2016 and has touted Nano-RAM (NRAM) as suitable follow-on technology for its ferroelectric RAM products, which it uses both discretely and embedded alongside microcontrollers.

Gervasi said: "The Fujitsu parts are on-track for mass production this year." He said that he understood one of the products would be a stand-alone memory and another would be a logic device with embedded NRAM.

Next: The mat of CNTs

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