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Monday, 21 March 2016 11:20

ReRAM – potential flash killer

By

Former Intel Architecture Group executive David Perlmutter has joined the board of a new revolutionary RAM technology company. Its product could replace Flash NAND in the next few years.

Perlmutter has joined Weebit Nano that is developing Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM) based on silicon oxide (SIOx) – a derivative of quartz used extensively in computer chip production and glass.

His joining comes as Weebit is in the process of doing a reverse takeover of Radar Iron (RAD) on the Australian Securities Exchange. It will also hold a roadshow around Australia to raise between $5 and $10 million to fund product development and commercialisation of the technology it is developing.

Weebit was incorporated in, Tel Aviv, Israel in 2014 in partnership with Rice University, Houston Texas. It has been built around a revolutionary memory and semiconductor technology invented by Professor James Tour. It is expected to show a commercially viable product within 18 months. Tour is a world-renowned leader in the field of materials engineering and nanotechnology, and retains the position of Chief Scientific Advisor. of Rice University in Houston, Texas

This quantum leap will allow semiconductor memory elements to become cheaper, faster, more reliable and more energy efficient than 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”.

Basically, ReRAM will replace Flash RAM

  • Performance: 1000 times faster; the ability to meet the demand of faster devices
  • Reliability: Reduces data corruption and errors
  • Energy Efficiency: Lower power consumption, increased battery life
  • Cost: Reduces production cost Scalability - 10x smaller cells; the ability to store more information on the same surface area
  • Based on SiOx: The most common material in the semiconductor industry, avoiding capital expenditure required for re-tooling

Uses

  • Smartphones and tablets are the major application where non-volatile memory is used.
  • Automotive, Navigation, Infotainment and safety components which require high-reliability data storage devices.
  • Health Care: Pacemakers, heart rate monitors, and blood pressure monitors. Non-volatile memory devices will outperform in this field due to higher read and write speeds.
  • Wearable: Adoption of these devices is expanding rapidly, and non-volatile memory chips will be required for reliability, efficiency, and added functionality.
  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, thus enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, promoting direct integration and communication between the physical world and computer-based systems. Over 50 billion electronic devices will be connected to the internet by 2020, and each device will require fast, cost effective and reliable memory technology.
  • Content: A forecasted 40 zettabytes of storable content will be produced annually by 2020, and that number is expected to continue doubling every two years. One zettabyte is equal to a thousand Exabytes or a billion terabytes.
  • Connectivity: Cloud Data Centres device connectivity requires ultra-fast response time, which is currently implemented by expensive SSD Flash drives. These can be replaced by ReRAM memory storage.

Weebit has seven global patents to commercially protect Professor Tour’s advancements in memory technology. It recently announced it had observed its device filament has reached a sub-5nm scale (as opposed to current competitors' 16nm), and that it can operate without any deterioration of performance reliability.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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