Leti to develop SiOx memory with Weebit Nano

September 08, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Weebit Nano Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel), a startup formed to commercialize silicon-oxide resistive RAM technology, has signed a development contract with French microelectronics research institute Leti.

Weebit claims that its non-volatile memory technology, based on research conducted by Professor James Tour at the Rice University (Houston, Texas) will enable higher memory capacities than present day NAND flash in smartphones and other applications such as servers and wearable equipment.

Weebit and Leti will develop silicon oxide (SiOx) ReRAM memory scalable to the 40nm node. Successful development with Leti is expected to pave the way for commercial relationships with memory manufacturers.

The company repeated a claim that it will be able to show a commercially viable product within 18 months. This claim was also made in November 2015, which would have put the debut in mid-2017. The 18 month promise would now appear to have pushed back the arrival date to early in 2018.

Globally, there are numerous ReRAM development initiatives but most are based on some sort of filament formation in a transition-metal oxide or ionic movement in a conductive bridging memory. All have taken considerably longer than 18 months to develop although the point is made that a silicon-oxide memory uses the most common material used in clean rooms.

Professor Tour retains the position of chief scientific advisor at Weebit.

"Leti not only gives recognition to the potential of the technology, but also gives us a push to get it to a mature and manufacturable phase – a phase where many technology companies fail," said David Perlmutter, Weebit chairman, in a statement.

Former Intel executive David Perlmutter joined Weebit Nano's board in March during a reverse take over of Radar Iron Ltd., a mining and exploration company listed in the Australian Stock Exchange. The renaming of Radar and listing of Weebit also saw the company raise about Au$5 million (about US$3.8 million). Perlmutter was appointed chairman of the company in May. Perlmutter left Intel in 2013 after 34 years there.

Yossi Keret, CEO of Weebit Nano

Yossi Keret, Weebit Nano CEO, commented: "The money raised is