Second Chinese chipmaker signs up for Weebit’s ReRAM

Second Chinese chipmaker signs up for Weebit’s ReRAM

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

Weebit’s technology is based on the use of thin layers of fab-friendly silicon-oxide as a non-volatile memory element. The company is going through a similar development process with XTX Technology – also known as Paragon Technology – based in Shenzhen, GuangDong, China (see China’s XTX adopts Weebit’s ReRAM).

The ReRAM technology of Weebit Nano Ltd. (Hod Hasharon, Israel) could enhance SiEn’s foundry offering by adding embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) capability to products manufactured by SiEn.

SiEn is China’s first semiconductor company based on the so-called Communal Integrated Device Manufacturer (CIDM) model. This model aggregates companies with similar production line requirements and allows them to share common manufacturing and achieve economies of scale, with guaranteed share of output in proportion to their investment.

TSMC made a similar move back in 1996 with the establishment of WaferTech as a joint venture with TSMC, Altera, Analog Devices and ISSI as partners. WaferTech is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSMC and TSMC’s only US based wafer fab.

SiEn also claims to have 15 billion RMB (about US$2.1 billion) in total investment. The first stage investment is around 7.8 billion RMB (about US$1.1 billion). The project’s target is to build 200mm and 300mm wafer fabs and a photomask shop.

SiEn was established by Richard Chang, the founder of China’s leading foundry, Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Chang worked for20 years at Texas Instruments Inc. And before founding SMIC in 2000 was employed by TSMC after the acquisition of Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. where he had been CEO. With this long experience Chang has created and managed more than 10 wafer fabs in the US, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Taiwan, and China.

Next: Hanoch and Chang

“Today there are dozens of fabs under construction in China, but SiEn’s fab is the only one taking the CIDM approach,” said Coby Hanoch, CEO of Weebit Nano, in a statement.

In the same statement Chang, who is chairman of SiEn, said: “SiEn will finish constructing two fabs for 200mm and 300mm wafers this year, and we believe Weebit’s technology can be a perfect fit into our offering.”

Chang continued: “Our production line will be based on STMicroelectronic’s technology, similar to that used by Leti, making the technology transfer simpler, and is expected to bring forward the time required to bring products to market.”

Weebit has also announced the successful modelled the electrical behavior of its silicon-oxide memory using Silvaco’s Victory Device TCAD software. The availability of this modelling capability under TCAD should facilitate the incorporation of Weebit’s ReRAM modules into semiconductor designs.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Weebit Nano seeks ‘selector’ for discrete memory market entry

IDM or foundry: CanSemi builds on analog, MCU strategy

China’s XTX adopts Weebit’s ReRAM

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