Jul 20

Keeping Track

I spotted a news item recently that Panasonic plan to start sampling a micro-controller (MCU) with an ReRAM memory (manufactured with 180nm technology on 200mm wafers). I should add that my Japanese is non-existent so this may well be incorrect but nonetheless it is another indication that the special properties of ReRAM/CBRAM will surely find them emerging in applications such where ultra-low power is required. The ‘news’ is clearly one way to keep track of any emerging technology but there are others beyond publications, conferences, and conference programs. Patent and patent applications are also valuable but there is usually a significant time lag between their formulation and appearance in the open literature.
There other ways of keeping track! For example, recently ‘bright side of the news’ spotted a job announcement coming out of SanDisk for a Director to manage the SanDisk 3D ReRAM. What’s more, according to the Job Description, 30 people are on this team! (The announcement is still posted on the SanDisk website as of 7/15/12). This represents a major investment from a company even the size of SanDisk. Coincidentally (?), an investor briefing from the same time the job was posted included various details (schematic cartoons) of the 3D ReRAM architecture along with a position on SanDisk’s roadmap. While positions on a roadmap can (will) change depending on how the other various options pan out, a team of 30 people shows SanDisk are pursuing their vision of ReRAM in earnest. I’ve no independent confirmation of the team size, but there are other postings for positions in the SanDisk ReRAM team.
As mentioned above, investor briefings are another source of information, albeit at a very high level. Presumable investors want to be reassured that a company has plans for the future when its current technology base can no longer be continued. Nonetheless, I was surprised by the number of options that Micron appear to be pursuing based on their recent investor briefing. While there were a couple of the usual traffic light charts (where various characteristics related to a technology development are characterized as red, yellow or green), there were also TEM images of each technology option which is evidence that some degree of integration has been achieved.
I’ll be watching for more ‘news’ on the Panasonic ReRAM powered MCU announcement but also checking more unconventional sources. Of course if you spot something, please submit a comment or consider submitting a Blog entry. But please check the Welcome message for a few ground rules first.

Christie Marrian, www.ReRAM-Forum.com Moderator

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