Semiconductor developer Weebit Nano (ASX: WBT) has taken a definitive step towards commercialising its ground-breaking silicon oxide (SiOx) memory technology after announcing a Development Program Partnership with Silvaco – a leading global provider of software, IP and services for designing chips and electronic systems for semiconductor companies.
Silvaco is the largest privately-held EDA provider of software tools used for process and device development and for analogue, mixed-signal, power IC and memory design.
It claims that it is “outpacing the EDA industry by delivering innovative smart silicon solutions to meet the world’s ever-growing demand for mobile intelligent computing”.
The collaboration announced today is designed to model the electrical behaviour of Weebit’s SiOx ReRAM devices and is expected to accelerate the incorporation of Weebit’s ReRAM modules into advanced semiconductor designs.
“We’re seeing a dramatic rise in the use of new devices for big data, artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing in which ReRAM technology will play a key role. Weebit is a key player in the ReRAM market, and we are proud to develop these new models with them,” said Eric Guichard, vice president and general manager of Silvaco’s TCAD business unit.
“This will enable the semiconductor industry to embed ReRAM technology in their designs in a much more efficient manner,” added Mr Guichard.
Weebit and Silvaco will work together to develop a Technology Computer-Aided Design (TCAD) solution to accurately model the electrical behaviour of Weebit’s ReRAM devices.
The models tested are based on Weebit’s physical samples and data will be the basis for creating a Silvaco TCAD solution for joint customers employing ReRAM technology.
Silvaco’s TCAD simulation will “dramatically” speed up the design, fabrication and commercial use of ReRAM technology through the elimination of expensive and time-consuming experimental wafers during technology adoption by OEMs, according to a statement by Weebit.
Expanding memory markets
Weebit has been vocal in recent months regarding its rapid progress towards finalising a silicon oxide chip design – an achievement that is ultimately designed to advance existing semiconductor manufacturing techniques and significantly expand the capabilities of existing memory.
Weebit has said it is a leader in the development of next-generation computer memory technology and plans to become the new industry standard in this space.
According to the company, its goal is to address the growing need for significantly higher performance and lower power computer memory technology.
Over the past two years, the company has managed to secure several patents to ensure optimal commercial and legal protection for its ground-breaking technology.
Today’s collaboration agreement means Weebit and Silvaco will work together to model the electrical behaviour of SiOx ReRAM devices that will become a template for creation of the semiconductor industry’s tooling offered by Silvaco for ReRAM technology.
First up on their to-do list is to create what’s known as “Technology Computer-Aided Design solution” that enables accurate modelling of Weebit’s ReRAM behaviour to assist in incorporating Weebit’s ReRAM modules into advanced semiconductor designs.
Both companies have confirmed that the program will speed up the design, fabrication and commercial use of ReRAM technology by OEMs by saving expensive, time-consuming, experimental wafers during technology adoption phases.
The Israeli company says it has demonstrated “commercially-viable data retention results at 40 nanometres,” the smallest and most energy-efficient type of random-access memory currently being developed anywhere in the world.
Recently published test results indicate that Weebit’s technology can maintain stored information for over 10 years, considered as a benchmark that’s above the requirement to be deemed commercially viable.
“Silvaco provides state-of-the-art device models and TCAD tools that are widely used by semiconductor companies. We are excited to establish this joint development program with Silvaco so customers will have early access to our ReRAM technology on the most powerful simulation tools in the industry and can fast-track the release of their next-generation products,” Weebit chief executive officer Coby Hanoch said.
“This is another key step by Weebit to accelerate the incorporation of ReRAM technology by a larger number of OEM customers,” added Mr Hanoch.
Shares in Weebit remained flat at $0.031 in morning trade.