Available for: Licensing and Joint Development
Research within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (E&EE) at UCL has led to the realisation of a new memory device, based on resistive switching which has the potential to be integrated directly onto silicon. The memory device exhibits very fast switching with high resistance contrast, requiring low switching energies and persist for extended periods of time.
<h2>The Technology and its advantages</h2>
RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory) based on the concept of implementing the memory function by switching the resistance of the material between a high and low state has been put forward as a promising and potentially disruptive concept for future non-volatile memories. RRAM is considered as one of the strong candidates that can replace Flash memory in the future due to their potential advantages such as: high storage density and 3D packing, allowing layers of memory devices to be integrated in one chip, fast switching enabling fast data transfer, low energy consumption per switching cycle and compatibility with current silicon fabrication process, enabling easy integration with microelectronic devices
The UCL RRAM technology is fundamentally different from current metal oxide technologies (NiO, TiO, HfO2). The switching mechanism doesn’t depend on diffusion of metal ions but is instead based on Si/SiO2, offering intrinsic compatibility with standard Si CMOS fabrication processes enabling easy integration with standard semiconductor fabrication processes. More importantly there is no need for current compliance, which metal oxide technologies require in order to perform reliable memory switching. In addition, the UCL RRAM concept has also been demonstrated on a quartz substrate which offers the potential for the development of transparent electronics. Applications currently being explored are embedded memory for the next generation of microprocessors and microcontrollers, and 3D stacked memory for increased density and storage with very low power consumption. Currently we are working with a commercial semiconductor fabrication facility in the process of manufacturing commercial prototype devices based on cross-bar arrays to investigate dense integration and conduct applications testing.
Resistive RAM offers unique opportunities as a direct replacement for current memory architectures, such as NAND Flash, in a market that continues to increase in size, driven by ever more sophisticated devices requiring greated storage, with low power consumption and very fast access times.
A patent application has now entered into National Phase
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