Crossbar, a start-up company pioneering a new category of very high capacity and high-performance non-volatile memory, unveiled its Crossbar resistive RAM (RRAM) technology. This new non-volatile memory will be capable of storing up to 1TB of data on a single 200mm2 chip, enabling massive amounts of data to be stored on an IC smaller than a postage stamp. Crossbar also said it has developed a working Crossbar memory array at a commercial fab.
“Non-volatile memory is ubiquitous today, as the storage technology at the heart of the over a trillion dollar electronics market – from tablets and USB sticks to enterprise storage systems. Yet today’s non-volatile memory technologies are running out of steam, hitting significant barriers as they scale to smaller manufacturing processes. With our working Crossbar array, we have achieved all the major technical milestones that prove our RRAM technology is easy to manufacture and ready for commercialization. It’s a watershed moment for the non-volatile memory industry,” said George Minassian, chief executive officer of Crossbar.
Crossbar RRAM: 20 Times Faster Performance, 20 Times Lower Power Consumption
Due to its simple three-layer structure, Crossbar technology can be stacked in 3D, delivering multiple terabytes of storage on a single chip. Its simplicity, stackability and CMOS compatibility enable logic and memory to be easily integrated onto a single chip at the latest technology node, a capability not possible with other traditional or alternative non-volatile memory technologies.
Crossbar’s technology will deliver 20x faster write performance, 20x lower power consumption, and 10x the endurance at half the die size, compared to today’s best-in-class NAND flash memory. With that breakthrough performance and reliability, very high capacity and low power consumption, Crossbar will enable a new wave of electronics innovation for consumer, enterprise, mobile, industrial and connected device applications.
Crossbar plans to bring to market standalone chip solutions, optimized for both code and data storage, used in place of traditional NOR and NAND flash memory. Crossbar also plans to license its technology to system on a chip (SOC) developers for integration into next-generation SOCs.
Crossbar RRAM memory may be used for various smartphones, tablets, players, solid-state drives, wearable devices and so on.
Behind the Technology
The Crossbar memory cell is based on three simple layers: A non-metallic bottom electrode, an amorphous silicon switching medium and a metallic top electrode. The resistance switching mechanism is based on the formation of a filament in the switching material when a voltage is applied between the two electrodes. This simple and very scalable memory cell structure enables an entirely new class of RRAM, which can be easily incorporated into the back end of line of any standard CMOS manufacturing fab.
After completing the technology transfer to Crossbar’s R&D fab and technology analysis and optimization, Crossbar has now successfully developed its demonstration product in a commercial fab. This working silicon is a fully integrated monolithic CMOS controller and memory array chip. The company is currently completing the characterization and optimization of this device and plans to bring its first product to market in the embedded SOC market.
Non-volatile memory is the most common storage technology used for both code storage (NOR) and data storage (NAND) in a wide range of electronics applications. According to market research firm Webfeet Research, non-volatile memory is expected to grow to become a $48.4 billion market in 2016.