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Memory capacity breakthrough adds legroom for IoT

Published 04-FEB-2016 12:20 P.M.


3 minute read

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Hot on the heels of a major breakthrough earlier this month, Weebit has announced yet another technological first in the non-volatile memory space.

In mid-January, Weebit developed a “nano-porous Si ReRAM” solution with filament size less than 5 nanometres (nm) in scale; an achievement that’s expected to empower its future products with superiority over other ReRAM contenders.

Today, Weebit has further bolstered its technical supremacy by announcing that under the leadership of highly renowned Professor James Tour, its development team has achieved a “3-D developmental milestone that will enable substantial increases in memory capacity” used in electronic devices such as watches, phones, and tablets.

Weebit’s team was able to fabricate a 1Kbit 1D-1R crossbar array consisting of SiOx (silicon oxide) bit-cells and diodes. In a world first, Weebit’s 1Kbit array demonstrates the possibility to produce an ultra-high performance 3-D memory array that can ultimately serve as a “Flash device replacement”.

If and when a 3-D memory array is manufactured, it will allow enormous memory capacity to be placed in smart watches, wearables, smartphones and all other devices requiring a storage feature.

The 1 Kbit 1D-1R crossbar array feasibility study included successful writing, storing and reading words in ASCII code to the device. Weebit also says that its diodes were fabricated with CMOS-compatible non-toxic materials to be easily integrated in the most advanced silicon processes.

Technical results

Performance metrics successfully demonstrated included:

  • Switching behaviour by conducting nano-filaments forming at a sub-5nm scale
  • Switching speed of ~50ns for set and reset process
  • Capability of exhibiting multi-bit switching behaviour at each cell

Currently, flash memory dominates the data storage/memory industry but is struggling to meet the heavy memory and storage demands from high-end professional users such as cloud servers and corporate data centres. For consumers, the advent of the Internet of Things has meant a greater amount of devices being used, and therefore, more data being created, shared and stored – all of which put additional strain on flash memory storage.

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Inventor of Weebit’s ReRAM technology, Professor James Tour

Inventor of Weebit’s ReRAM technology Professor James Tour, said, “The materials for the diodes have now been selected and tested to work. We will now build a 2-dimensional 1 kilo-bit memory using the crossbar design with a diode atop each silicon oxide memory bit. Once that is demonstrated, we will embark on the layering of that 2-dimensional design to make a truly 3-dimensional architecture.”

The breakthrough could potentially create a patent-protected competitive advantage enabling Weebit to become a dominant force in ReRAM storage in the coming years, following the completion of the reverse takeover deal currently in progress.

Weebit hopes to produce a fully working prototype of its next generation ReRAM storage technology within the coming 18 months.

About Weebit Nano

Weebit was incorporated in Israel in 2014. Domiciled in Tel Aviv, Weebit in partnership with Rice University is one of the world’s foremost developers of Silicon Oxide {SiOx) ReRAM technology. It has been built around a revolutionary memory and semiconductor technology invented by Professor James Tour of Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Weebit is developing Tour’s new silicon oxide (SiOx) Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM) technology, and will be able to show a commercially viable product within 18 months. This quantum leap will allow semiconductor memory elements to become cheaper, faster, more reliable and more energy efficient than the existing Flash technology.

Weebit’s technology has also been field tested by NASA. The US space agency sent Weebit’s components on a two year space mission where intensive testing led to NASA awarding Weebit’s components with ‘Hard-Rad’ status, meaning they are “impervious to the effects of radiation”.

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