February 10, 2020 -- Weebit Nano (ASX: WBT), a developer of next generation memory technology for the global semiconductor industry, today announced it has launched a program to address the needs of discrete memory components based on Weebit’s ReRAM memory technology.
Following the recent third-party validation of Weebit’s memory technology by XTX Technology, achieved four months ahead of schedule, the Company is now able to accelerate its entry into the discrete, stand-alone, memory chip market. This broadens the work program for Weebit beyond just the “embedded” non-volatile memory (NVM) market, which includes applications such as AI, IoT and Analog, for which Weebit Nano is on track for first orders in late 2020. The combined market size for the NVM market is estimated to reach over US$82 billion by 20221.
Discrete memory chips contain larger memory arrays and are more technically challenging than embedded modules, requiring additional development work before reaching productisation. A key element required for discrete memory chips is called a “selector”, which helps isolate the memory cells so that only the specific cells which should be modified actually are, and all the other cells are disconnected and not impacted.
The work required for the discrete memory chips will be performed by Weebit in co-operation with its partner Leti, the French research institute recognised as a global leader in the field of micro-electronics. Leti has been developing a selector for the discrete memory market for the past several years, and this will enable Weebit to significantly advance its development work for the discrete memory market.
The program consists of three stages: Stage 1, 3-months long, will be used to define the specific details of the selector and based on that the commercial details. Once these details are defined, the other two stages, totalling another 12 months, will lead to a demonstration of Weebit’s ReRAM cell working with the selector.
Commenting on the extended agreement, Coby Hanoch, CEO of Weebit, said: “Our recent work with XTX Technology and other potential partners accelerated our entry into the discrete memory market, and we are now scaling up our efforts in this segment in parallel to the continued work in the embedded space. We are very pleased to further extend our long-standing collaboration with Leti to cover this domain, leveraging their investment and saving us years of development. Leti has a very impressive team and a state-of-the-art fabrication facility, and our joint team has worked harmoniously to achieve extremely fast progress to date in developing a best-in-class emerging memory technology. Our goal is to demonstrate the ReRAM cell intended for the discrete memory market by mid-2021.”
Olivier Faynot, Microelectronic Section Manager at CEA-Leti, said: “The fast-growing non-volatile-memory market is looking for new technologies, especially in the discrete-memory sector. This dynamic creates attractive opportunities for innovators such as CEA-Leti and Weebit, and we are expanding our joint R&D work to cover this important domain.”
Weebit and Leti initiated the joint development program in September 2016, and since then rapid progress has been made in developing Weebit’s technology. The strength of this partnership, in combination with Weebit’s unique Silicon Oxide technology, has enabled technology development at a substantially faster pace and lower cost than any other company in this domain.