Elpida Memory, Inc. (“Elpida”, TOKYO: 6665 JP), the world’s third largest Dynamic Random Access Memory (“DRAM”) manufacturer, today announced the development of its first-ever high-speed non-volatile resistance memory (ReRAM) prototype. As the ReRAM prototype was made using a 50-nanometer (nm) process technology it has a memory cell array operation of 64 megabits, one of the highest densities possible for ReRAM. The prototype was jointly developed with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese-funded public institution. Further work on ReRAM development is being conducted with Sharp Corporation (“Sharp”, TOKYO: 6753 JP), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST, another Japanese public institution) and the University of Tokyo.
ReRAM (Resistance Random Access Memory) is next-generation semiconductor memory technology that uses material which changes resistance in response to changes in the electric voltage. This new type of non-volatile memory can store data even when the power supply is turned off. Its most attractive feature is that it can read/write data at high speeds using little voltage. While dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is superior to existing non-volatile memory with respect to read/write speeds and endurance, DRAM quickly loses data when the power supply is removed. NAND flash memory, a leading example of nonvolatile memory, retains data even when the power is removed but has performance measures that are inferior to DRAM.
ReRAM, on the other hand, is a type of semiconductor memory that contains the advantages of both DRAM and NAND flash memory. It has a write speed of 10 nanoseconds (ns), about the same as DRAM, and write endurance of more than a million times, or more than 10 times greater than NAND flash.
Elpida plans to continue development toward a 2013 goal of volume production of ReRAM in the gigabit capacity class using a 30nm process technology. If the high-speed durable new memory can be provided at low cost it will contribute enormously to a reduction of memory power consumption. This will make it an attractive storage (recording medium) option in a variety of information technology products, such as smartphones, tablet devices and ultra-thin light notebook PCs.
Elpida continues to develop process migration and other technology related to DRAM and at the same time promotes the development of ReRAM as a promising next-generation memory that can substitute for DRAM functions.