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Nantero signs NRAM licensing agreement

Fujitsu Semiconductor and Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor have announced that they will begin developing carbon nanotube based memory products using Nantero’s CNT NRAM technology.

The licensing agreement between Fujitsu and Nantero will cover the joint development of ultra-fast, ultra-high-density NRAM, non-volatile RAM using carbon nanotubes. Both companies said that they were aiming to develop a product using NRAM non-volatile RAM that would be able to achieve significantly faster rewrites and more rewrite cycles.

“We are looking at rewrite and cycles up to a thousand time faster than embedded flash memory, making NRAM potentially capable of replacing DRAM with non-volatile memory,” said Greg Schmergel, Nantero’s Chairman & CEO.

Nantero will be working with Fujitsu to develop an initial product that will be a 55nm embedded memory based on planar NRAM and which is scheduled to enter the market in 2018.

Fujitsu Semiconductor plans to develop a NRAM-embedded custom LSI product by the end of 2018, beyond which it is planning to expand the product line-up into stand-alone NRAM product. Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor, which is a pure-play foundry, plans to offer NRAM-based technology to its foundry customers.

“Non-volatile memory using Nantero’s carbon-nanotube technology is a marked advance beyond conventional technology,” said Masato Matsumiya, System Memory VP, Fujitsu Semiconductor. “As a company we have been designing and producing FRAM, a type of non-volatile RAM, since the late 90s. We are just one of a few companies to have integrated FRAM design and production capabilities and will use our experience and skill in this field to develop and produce NRAM as well. The combination of Nantero’s technology with our design and production capabilities promises to meet the longstanding needs of our customers for non-volatile memory that is higher density, faster, more energy efficiency, and with a higher rewrite cycle.”

That experience was “crucial,” according to Schmergel. He continued, “Both companies are ideal commercialisation partners for Nantero as their experience with FRAM makes them among the world’s most successful companies in mass production of new memory devices.”

“Nantero’s NRAM technology is based on carbon nanotubes and allows for non-volatile memory with high density and random access, promising to expand Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor’s line of embedded non-volatile memory products,” said Masahiro Chijiiwa, Director and Corporate SVP, Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor. “In working with Nantero to develop their technology into products and license that technology, together with Fujitsu Semiconductor, we will be able to offer our customers new kinds of non-volatile random-access memory solutions.”

Neil Tyler

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