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Start-Up’s Profile: 4DS, Inc.

Wants to replace DRAM and flash by RRAM
By Jean-Jacques Maleval on 2009.11.10

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Company
4DS, Inc., privately-held U.S. corporation and subsidiary of 4D-S Pty, Ltd., an Austrialian firm

Headquarters
Fremont, CA

Born in
2007

Funding
No figure has been revealed but 4DS announced last March to have secured additional funding from Poly Plant Project, Inc. (PPP) as part of a multi-million dollar equity investment. PPP, based in Burbank, CA, made its first investment into the start-up in December 2008, "with additional funding contingent upon meeting milestones."

Main executives

  • Kurt Pfluger, CEO, was the co-founder of Apogee Power, and founder and CEO of IN Electronics.
  • Dan Brors, director of engineering, holding 18 patents related to semiconductor processing technology, formerly sold DRAM company Torrex to Varian Semiconductor and has held engineering positions with Motorola, Harris, Genus and Western Digital.

Activity
Developing and marketing non-volatile semiconductor memories that are high capacity, high performance and low cost.

Technology
For 4DS, flash memory scalability is reaching its limits. For the next generation, the company is not involved in 3D flash technologies but in 3D memory through multi-memory layers by stacking chips. By comparison, its approach enables either a multi-layer memory in-situ or a CMOS/SOC device with multi-layer memory 'piggy-backed' on-board. About its RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory),  4DS said it has switching speed measured below 5ns, and endurance of one billion write/read cycles.

                          Position vs. other silicon technologies

4ds_startup_profile_540

Competitors
About all the semiconductor companies are working on next generation of silicon memories like Crocus Technology, Everspin, HP, Hitachi, Hynix, IBM, Intel, Infineon, Macronix, Micron, Numonyx, Samsung, Sharp, STMicroelectronics, Winbond Electronics, etc.

Our Comments

Since many years, that's a dream to obtain a low-cost non-volatile silicon rewritable memory with the speed of DRAM. The market could be huge and iSpuppli estimates it at $76.3 billion by 2019. At this time, fabless 4DS has not announced any product and is looking to manufacturing partners.

RRAM is not a new idea and has been investigated by several big firms, but seems difficult to produce. It competes against other technologies like CBRAM, FRAM, MRAM, PRAM and phase-change.
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