May 21

Why now?

A good question! Why are we starting this Blog dedicated to all things related to ReRAM and CBRAM in Q2 of 2012? There is already lots of stuff out there that can be found on emerging memory technologies and resistive or conductive memory elements. However, frankly it is all over the place and there seems to be no single place where proponents and users of this exciting emerging technology can find concise and relevant information from the experts in the technology and applications. The other point is that we are clearly in the early, but not the earliest, stages of the ā€˜Sā€™ curve that heralds the arrival and adoption of a technology breakthrough. A way to measure the initial stages of this process is looking at publications and patents. See first figure. Here I used Google (actually Google Scholar) to search for key phrases in the title of publications by year. Clearly there is a significant upsurge over the last 8 years. Digging a little deeper, it is clear that this interest has moved on from being exclusively in academia to small and large companies who now routinely present resistive/conductive memory papers at both the major device and circuit conferences. I was a bit surprised by the apparent tailing off in patent activity, or at least a slower growth than in the number of articles. This may be deceptive as a broader search restricted to issued patents shows continued growth. See second figure. The bottom line is that phrases such as ReRAM and CBRAM are apparently moving out of the title line and into the body of the patent text! For example, patents are appearing that describe key enablers for the technology such as architectures, cell structures, cell sensing, material deposition techniques etc. and cite ReRAM and CBRAM as key applications and motivators. Interestingly if one does a similar title based search related to the development of Flash memory, one sees relatively fewer publications and a higher proportion of patent activity. However, this is not unexpected given that NAND Flash, for example, originated with a specific invention at a single company (Toshiba), some 25 years ago.

Christie Marrian, WWW.ReRAM-Forum Moderator

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