DRAM replacement technology could save power, area

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In a move which is claimed to bring lower power consumption better area efficiency to memories, Kilopass has announced a Vertical Layered Thyristor (VLT) technology. Aimed at DRAM applications, VLT is said to eliminate the need for refresh and to be compatible with existing manufacturing technologies.

“Kilopass built its reputation as the leader in one-time programmable memories,” said Charlie Cheng, CEO. “As the next step on our roadmap, we examined many possible devices that would not need new materials or complex process flows and found this vertical thyristor to be very compelling.”

VLT is based on thyristor technology, electrically equivalent to a cross coupled pair of bipolar transistors that form a latch. The latch stores values and does not require refresh. Since VLT does not require refresh cycles, a VLT based DDR4 DRAM is said to reduce standby power consumption by a factor of 10 when compared to conventional DRAM at the same process node. VLT based memories can be made on current processing equipment, materials and flows, but is said to require fewer processing steps.

Kilopass expects to have test silicon by early 2017.