4DS Memory takes ‘major step forward’ in optimising high-density memory storage

4DS Memory ASX imec Silicon Valley 300mm wafer
In a major breakthrough, endurance analysis has shown that 4DS can cycle its Interface Switching ReRAM memory cells into millions of cycles.

4DS Memory (ASX: 4DS) has released a positive update around its work to create a “next generation” gigabyte storage memory after wrapping up testing with its partner, imec.

The company, which is involved in the development of non-volatile memory storage known as ReRAM, provided an update to shareholders on testing work for the functional 300mm wafers.

Under the analysis work completed in Silicon Valley, imec, a nanoelectronics and digital research hub, produced 23 testable 300mm wafers.

The testing focused on endurance and retention – two core characteristics for Storage Class Memory.

According to 4DS, the endurance component of the analysis revealed it could cycle its Interface Switching ReRAM memory, representing a first for the company.

As for the retention analysis, it underscored the best retention results the company has been able to produce outside of its own facilities to date.

While specific details of the analysis remain confidential under the partnership with imec, 4DS said the duo had been able to obtain “invaluable data” which would result in faster refinement and manufacturing iterations.

Significant breakthrough

4DS labelled the analysis findings a “significant achievement” for the company given it represented the first time it had been able to replicate and improve certain characteristics on the same multi-million-dollar equipment used by high density manufacturers of memory.

“This is the first time our Interface Switching ReRAM cell architecture for Storage Class Memory has been manufactured at any 300mm production facility and, as anticipated, imec’s 300mm state-of-the-art equipment and experience resulted in highly consistent cell behaviour,” 4DS chief executive officer and managing director Dr Guido Arnout said.

“This is a major step forward and we are very pleased with the initial endurance and retention measurements.”

The positive outcome comes after imec and 4DS undertook process modifications towards the end of 2018 designed to enhance the development of the second 300mm wafer lot.

The next batch of wafer analysis is forecast for the second quarter of 2019. Concurrently, the company will continue to analyse the standout 300mm wafer ‘D17’ to further refine and optimise the desired memory characteristics.

The company’s development ambitions centre around creating a replacement for traditional flash memory storage.

The high-density, high-volume memory segment is currently dominated by DRAM and NAND Flash, representing a market share of about US$80 billion.

Established in 2007, 4DS’s current intellectual property portfolio comprises 20 granted US patents and three pending patents developed to create high density Storage Class Memory.

Investors reacted positively to the testing news, with 4DS’s shares surging 22.4% in morning trade to $0.071.