4DS takes ReRAM down to 40nm and raises AU$4m

Silicon Valley-based but Australian-listed memory company 4DS has announced that it has developed 40 nanometre resistive random access memory.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Memory company 4DS has hailed its development of 40nm ReRAM as a milestone on the path to replacing 3D NAND flash memory.

Whereas flash memory uses electrical charge, ReRAM uses resistance to store bits with voltage applied to switch between different resistances.

Developed in partnership with HGST, 4DS said its Interface Switching ReRAM does not use filaments, and thus avoids physical limitations found in flash and other ReRAM, while offering low-power consumption.

"Any ReRAM technology aiming for gigabyte silicon storage needs to be able to manufacture memory cells in geometries smaller than [45-50nm] 3D flash," Mel Buffier, 4DS director of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations, told ZDNet.

The company has a team of five working in Silicon Valley, while it has Buffier in Australia for corporate duties.

"We do not require an extensive development team due to the unique collaboration with HGST and access to their team of memory specialists," Buffier said.

The company is looking to show the commercial viability of its memory next year, Buffier said.

"We're an emerging memory technology developer, so the most likely outcome for commercialisation is to attract an additional non-exclusive licensing deal or a strategic acquisition of our intellectual property," she said.

"Working under a joint development agreement with Western Digital subsidiary HGST, 4DS is able to carry out validation and demonstration of its memory technology without incurring the expense of fabricating fully functional ReRAM prototypes."

On Thursday, the company announced it had raised AU$4 million in funding from an oversubscribed share offer. Over the past decade, the company has spent $12 million on its development program.

"With this significant and important breakthrough of developing 40nm memory cells, 4DS is now focused on optimising the performance and reliability of its ReRAM technology and demonstrating commercial viability for storage class memory," 4DS CEO Dr Guido Arnout said.

Samsung announced on Thursday it would begin producing 8GB DRAM for mobiles based on 10 nanometre 16GB LPPDR4 memory.

Earlier this week, the Korean giant said it would start 10 nanometer CPU production which is likely to find its way into the Galaxy S8.

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