Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Intel and Micron Produce Breakthrough Memory Material & Arcitecture

According to the recent press release Intel and Micron are about to begin production on new class of non-volatile memory (NVM). TThe claim that this is "the first new memory category in more than 25 years."

Intel and Micron invented unique material compounds and a cross point architecture for a memory technology that is 10 times denser than conventional memory. (Photo: Business Wire)

  • New 3D XPoint™ technology brings non-volatile memory speeds up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, the most popular non-volatile memory in the marketplace today.
  • The companies invented unique material compounds and a cross point architecture for a memory technology that is 10 times denser than conventional memory2.
  • New technology makes new innovations possible in applications ranging from machine learning to real-time tracking of diseases and immersive 8K gaming.

New architecture... cross point architecture... think I heard that one before... an ants nest is also cross bar architecture...  hmmm not that interesting but more interesting so is what is this invented unique material and what processes are used for manufacturing? So we need to read the complete press release.

"The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes."

Transistor less - first clue! Continue reading... Cross Point Array Structure, Stackable, Selector, Fast Switching Cell, ... ??? What is the new unique material? How was it processed? How was it etched? Need to know... I´ll be back.

"Bulk switching characteristics"

BINGO! Peter Clarke at EE Times had it all in better detail - Intel, Micron Launch "Bulk-Switching" ReRAM.

"The prepared infographics suggest a resistive RAM with an in-built select diode allowing for a dense device structure. This would give it similarities to ReRAMs being developed by Crossbar Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) and other companies but would still leave a potential point of distinction — filamentary behavior." 

"Micron's Durcan said: "We are not the only companies thinking of bringing resistive elements to memory, but ours is unique." Intel's Cooke said the memory has the three attributes of: non-volatility, density and speed and that the memory scales in both the x-y plane and the z direction."

"Intel did confirm that 3D XPoint manufacturing is compatible with back-end-of-line (BEOL) processing, which opens up the possibility of deploying 3D Xpoint memory on top of a plane of logic and as an embedded non-volatile memory option."

In the commentary field Peter Clarke says: "I can only add that in the webcast press conference Rob Crooke and Mark Durcan emphasize repeatedly a switching electrical characteristic that occurred across the "bulk" of the memory cell material. They also talked about the cells being "completely different" to other non-volatile memories; "a fundamentally different switch" and a "fundamental discovery"

Check ou the Intel / Micron Webcast below


So still no information out there on the actual material stack and the deposition processes - obviously the whole ALD World is keeping their fingers crossed that this one like DRAM and modern CMOS can only be made by A-L-D!!!

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