Weebit Nano, the ASX-listed semiconductor company seeking to develop and commercialise the next generation of memory technology, has reported successful data retention results on its scaled down 40nm array.
The results achieved indicate that Weebit Nano’s technology is capable of maintaining stored information for over 10 years, which is above the requirement to be commercially viable.
The company previously reported similar data retention results on its 300nm cell size and now, as part of the baseline parameter improvement project it is conducting with Leti, reliability tests have confirmed data retention is not impacted by scaling down the memory size.
Data retention is considered one of the most crucial reliability parameters in the non-volatile memory market. Retention errors are the most dominant failure mechanism, responsible for more than 99 per cent of the NAND (or flash memory) failures after one year in the field . It is also known that data retention poses significant reliability challenges in other emerging memory technologies.
Coby Hanoch, CEO of Weebit Nano, said: “Weebit is conducting extensive and robust testing with our partner, Leti, as we continue to develop and improve the baseline parameters of our SiOx technology. Data retention is an important validation and demonstrates one of the key strengths of our technology. These results are essential to our productisation plans, as many markets require 10 years of retention as a ‘must-have’ feature.
“We are currently in the process optimisation phase whereby we are making improvements to additional parameters such as endurance, yield and manufacturability. This is an important step a we ready our technology for the productisation stage. Our improvement testing is also providing us with significant know-how, which we will use in the next phase of scaling down to 28nm.”
The data retention test was conducted in CEA/Leti testing facilities by Weebit Nano engineers under various testing conditions, including elevated temperatures for various periods of time to accelerate and age of the devices in order to replicate 10 years’ operation in the field. Data analysis and life-time prediction calculations using industry standard metrics have shown that Weebit’s ReRAM SiOx arrays did not present any significant degradation with information being detected with no corruption after 10 years’ field operation.
In addition, Weebit’s 40nm devices endured an elevated temperature of 260°C for a time period that well exceeds the requirements of soldering semiconductor components onto a printed circuit board (PCB).
The test results follow the recent important milestone in Weebit Nano’s productisation and commercialization effort - the first packaging units containing memory arrays based on its Silicon Oxide ReRam technology. These have been packaged into devices known as chips, allowing the company to ship its memory technology to partners who can begin testing and evaluating the chips, and collaborating with Weebit Nano to achieve robust technology parameters.
The first memory chips will be delivered to universities to research the use of ReRam technology in neuromorphic computing, which is used in the development of Artificial Intelligence, with additional chips planned to be shipped to future potential partners.
Weebit Nano remains on track to complete its process optimisation phase by the end of the first quarter of the 2019 calendar year.
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