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Weebit Nano has been one of the most active companies working to commercialize ReRAM technology. Seven years of research and development have finally culminated into the first public demonstration of its ReRAM IP module.
The Israeli company was on hand at the recent Leti Innovation Days to highlight its ReRAM IP module’s real–world capability as a non–volatile memory (NVM) integrated into an actual subsystem. The demonstration comes less than a year after taping out the module and is a notable milestone toward productization of its ReRAM technology.
The IP module demonstrated at the event included the ReRAM array, control logic, decoders, I/O communication elements, and error correcting code, as well as patent–pending analog and digital smart circuitry running smart algorithms that significantly enhance the memory array’s technical parameters.
Gabriel Molas, chief scientist at Weebit, demonstrated the IP module’s capabilities by connecting a board with a ReRAM chip to a Raspberry Pi with a touch screen. To exhibit how quickly the ReRAM could write and retain data, text was drawn to produce text in a drawing area on screen. The Weebit ReRAM functions as an embedded NVM block and is fed live images; the data is retained while the module is powered off.
A notable part of the data writing demonstration is that it only programs the bits that need to be programed, explained Molas, which showcases the high granularity of the ReRAM IP. “If you don’t need to write any information, the time is very short.” The demonstrated write speed is faster compared to typical flash memory technology, he said, thanks to the Direct Program/Erase capability and byte addressability of Weebit ReRAM; flash needs to access entire data sectors every time it erases/writes.
It’s rather appropriate that this first demonstration of Weebit’s ReRAM IP was part of a CEA–Leti event, as Weebit CEO Cody Hanoch has frequently described its research partner as an extension of his company. Weebit has continued to broaden its IP co–operation with the French research institute and leverage its broad investment in memory research over the past decade.
A significant focus of their collaboration has been the development of a selector for discrete ReRAM, a critical component for building larger arrays that could open opportunities for ReRAM to compete with NAND flash.
Although Weebit has expressed a great deal of interest in exploring the ReRAM applications for AI and its use for neural networks and neuromorphic computing, the primary focus of the company is getting a high volume of embedded ReRAM market. The goal would be to then use those revenues to drive further development of its discrete ReRAM, which it began ramping up in early 2022 in response to customer opportunities.
— Gary Hilson is a general contributing editor with a focus on memory and flash technologies for EE Times.