Imec and Nantero launch joint carbon-nanotube-memory program for high-density next-generation memory below 20nm

November 2, 2012


Illustration of CNTs forming an electrical connection (credit: Nantero)

Imec, a world-leading research institution in nanoelectronics, and Nantero, Inc., a nanotechnology company using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the development of next-generation semiconductor devices, have announced a joint development program.

The collaboration will focus on the carbon-nanotube-based memory developed by Nantero, NRAM, and its application in high-density next-generation memories with a size under 20nm.

Carbon nanotubes exhibit extraordinary strength, unique electrical properties and efficient heat conduction, making them a highly promising material for future memories

Nantero has already fabricated high-yielding 4Mb arrays of NRAM in CMOS production environments, with several important performance advantages: write speed has been shown to be as fast as 3 nanoseconds; endurance is expected to be unlimited and has been tested so far to over a trillion cycles, with low operating power and superior high temperature retention.

The target applications include terabit-scale memory arrays and ultra-fast gigabit-scale nonvolatile cache memories.

Nantero, Inc. is building a high density nonvolatile random access memory chip, which can replace DRAM (dynamic RAM), SRAM (static RAM), flash memory, and ultimately hard disk storage — in other words, a universal memory chip suitable for existing and new applications in the field of electronics.

The target markets in aggregate exceed $100B in revenue per year. Nantero’s product is called NRAM (Nanotube-based/ Nonvolatile RAM), developed using proprietary concepts and methods derived from leading-edge research in nanotechnology.