Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions and United Microelectronics Corporation to Develop Mass Production Process for Next-Gen ReRAM

Enabling integration of 40nm ReRAM process from by PSCS with UMC CMOS process
This is a Press Release edited by on 2017.02.17

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Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd. (PSCS) has reached an agreement with United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) on the joint development of mass production process for next generation 40nm ReRAM1.

ReRAM, alike flash memory2 currently in widespread use, is a type of non-volatile memory3. The device features a simple structure, high-speed processing, and low power consumption. PSCS started ReRAM mass production using a 180nm process in 2013, and is currently supplying its 8-bit microcomputer MN101LR series for low power consumption applications such as in portable healthcare devices. The company was the first to test and verify the reliability of memory arrays by 40nm process.

The agreed cooperative project will enable the integration of 40nm ReRAM process technologies developed by PSCS with UMC's reliable CMOS process technologies. This will achieve a process platform for ReRAM that are applicable, as embedded memories in place of flash memories, to diverse system devices such as those widely used in IC cards, wearable terminals, and IoT devices.

PSCS will ship product samples in 2018 that use the new 40nm process, and will be the first to start mass production in the industry. The two companies will offer the co-developed ReRAM process platform to other semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers from around the world.

Regarding this cooperative program, PSCS president Kazuhiro Koyama says: "The company will provide a wide range of optimal products that meet customer needs by developing a scaling process platform that will accelerate the market uptake of ReRAM, whose mass production in the industry was started by PSCS."

"We are excited to enter into this foundry agreement with Panasonic," said SVP S.C. Chien, UMC. "The proven reliability, fast cycle times and high yields of our 40nm process will bring a new element of competitiveness to Panasonic's ReRAM, which will result in mutual benefits for both companies as the product gains widespread market adoption. We look forward to working with Panasonic to bring their 40nm ReRAM to high volume production."

1 ReRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory)
Non-volatile memory that generates wide resistance differences by applying pulse voltages to metal oxide thin films to store '0's and '1's. It has a simple structure that comprises metal oxides sandwiched by electrodes that enables simple manufacturing process, and features exceptional characteristics that include low power consumption and high-speed rewriting.

2 Flash memory
Non-volatile memory that can be electrically erased and rewritten.

3 Non-volatile memory
Semiconductor memory that retains data even when there is no power supply.