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Memory maker Elpida Memory and technology firm Ovonyx announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Ovonyx has licensed Elpida to use its Ovonic Universal Memory (OUM) thin-film semiconductor memory technology. The technology license agreement also provides that Ovonyx will actively support Elpida’s program to commercialization OUM phase change memory products.

Ovonyx memory technology uses a reversible phase-change memory process that has been previously commercialized worldwide in rewritable CD and DVD optical memory disks. The Ovonyx array-addressed semiconductor memory technology can be used in applications such as DRAM replacements, as well as embedded applications in many product areas such as microcontrollers and reconfigurable MOS logic.

The company’s nonvolatile memory technology, Ovonyx OUM, offers significantly faster write and erase speeds and higher cycling endurance than conventional Flash memory, according to the developer. OUM also has the advantage of a simple fabrication process that permits the design of semiconductor chips with embedded nonvolatile memory using only a few additional mask steps.

“Elpida plans to utilize Ovonyx'phase-change technology to further explore the development of new DRAM features that will provide the high performance and low current consumption required for next-generation mobile applications,” said Yukio Sakamoto, president and CEO of Elpida Memory.

It is unclear when Elpida plans to start production of its OUM products. It is also unclear whether any customers of Elpida plan to use the new type of memory.

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