University College London spins out ReRAM startup: Page 2 of 2

March 14, 2018 //By Peter Clarke
University College London spins out ReRAM startup
Intrinsic Semiconductor Technologies Ltd. has been established to commercialize silicon-dioxide resistive RAM devices developed by Professor Tony Kenyon and Adnan Mehonic, at University College London.

Instrinsic states on its website it will provide a portfolio of technologies to address the embedded memory and automotive sector and then work with partners to develop solutions for more advanced applications, up to and including neuromorphic systems.

The company is adopting an ARM-like intellectual property licensing business model and is negotiating a seed funding round, Professor Kenyon told eeNews Europe through email correspondence.

"We have demonstrated [the technology] down to 150nm, but don’t feel that for many of the applications of interest, other than potential flash replacement, that scaling is such an important issue. More important is enhanced functionality and flexibility of a core technology platform," Professor Kenyon said.

The company has produced a 1kbit memory array as test silicon, Professor Kenyon said. "Our initial prototypes will be for embedded applications where large arrays are not needed. We’re not looking to flash replacement." He continued: "We aim to demonstrate high yield CMOS manufacturability – process integration in a commercial fab with standard libraries – in the next 12 months. While we have already demonstrated that our technology can be fabricated using CMOS processes, we will be working on yield determination and optimisation with a foundry partner.

When asked about what differentiates Intrinsic's technology from that of Weebit Nano Professor Kenyon said: "Ours is standard CMOS. The operating principles and underlying mechanisms of switching are totally different in our technology, and we add the possibility of light-triggered operation, which Weebit does not. We also have a long-term vision and roadmap that takes us from near-term (embedded NVM) to medium term (hardware accelerators for ML) and long-term (neuromorphic systems). The danger of pushing for more aggressive scaling to take flash head-on, as Weebit are doing, is that in the long term, ReRAM has more to offer to other applications, and flash is, after all, very very successful."

Professor Kenyon added that flash cannot compete in hardware acceleration, low-power embedded memory for IoT, computing at the edge or neuromorphic computing. "Better to concentrate on the applications that really need the advantages that ReRAM can offer," he concluded.

In December 2017 the UCL team published a paper in Applied Physics Letters on light-activated switching and in February 2018 on plasticity in unipolar silicon-oxide ReRAMs (see Light-activated resistance switching in SiOx RRAM devices and Spike-timing dependent plasticity in unipolar SiOx RRAM devices).

Related links and articles:

News articles:

UK researchers follow silicon-oxide ReRAM route

Rice University: Making memory out of silicon oxide

Weebit moves SiOx ReRAM on to 40nm

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