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Jul 31

Update on Recent News Items

Panasonic have announced the “world’s first mass production of ReRAM mounted microcomputers” . This appears to be the microcontroller with embedded ReRAM that was discussed in an April Blog along with its video in March. (Panasonic seem to use microcomputer and microcontroller interchangeably.) The ReRAM is built using 180nm technology and production of 1 million units a month is anticipated. The back of my envelope suggests this corresponds to around 500 8” wafers. The product page gives more details stressing that the ReRAM results in the benefit of much reduced (50%?) power consumption. Interesting Panasonic also state that due to improved memory performance, 16 bit performance is achieved even though the actual CPU on the chip is only 8 bit. Applications are described as: Portable healthcare (blood pressure, activity…), Security (fire alarm) and Sensor (temperature and humidity, motion, etc.). This is quite a milestone for ReRAM!

The next update relates to the SK Hynix/HP next generation memory development. At the beginning of July , I mentioned reports of an interview with Lee Jung Hoon, head of SK Hynix’s Advanced Device & Process Integration Division who was quoted as saying that ReRAM production (based on HP’s memristor) would begin in 2015 at the earliest. The latest twist is that SK Hynix has now denied this reported ReRAM delay. On the other hand, SK Hynix declined to give any indication of when commercialization may/will take place. Make of this what you will but I suspect that some wires got crossed (ReRAM pun intended) during the original interview. As noted in the Blog, SK Hynix is involved in multiple next generation memory development efforts with different partners (with HP on ReRAM/memristor, with IBM on Phase Change memory and with Toshiba on STT-MRAM). While the news report of the interview referred to ReRAM being delayed to 2015, the reference could be to one of the other memory technologies which had been previously scheduled for 2015.

A new (to me at least) discussion group is the “Future memory technology Interest group(PRAM, FRAM, MRAM,…)” at Linked-In. (I believe you have to register.) They have posts on both the above two stories and one commenter, pointed out that HP have a new publication available on-line www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/2013/HPL-2013-48.pdf. It’s a review paper for the USLI Process Integration Session at the 224th Electrochemical Society Meeting, in San Francisco, October 27 -November 1, 2013. The paper discusses current issues and ends with that statement “are still a few challenges to overcome, including mechanism understanding, device nonlinearity and variability”. I certainly admire the authors honesty but it does seem a bit downbeat…..

Christie Marrian, ReRAM-Forum moderator

2 comments

  1. Chen Yangyin

    1 million / month shipment is a considerable amount. Micron shipped ~ 5 million PCM till the end of 2012. If Panasonic ReRAM can hit 10 million / year, it will be great news for this technology.

  2. admin

    Good point! I don’t have any data on manufacturing volumes for MCUs. Can anyone help?

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