Yole Développment: The key emerging non-volatile technologies like phase-change memory (PCM), magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) and resistive random access memory (RRAM) have long development histories. Yet, their adoption remains restricted to niche markets due to various factors. Available products have limited density, and the introduction of high density products by emerging NVM pioneers has been delayed. There are manufacturing challenges due to the introduction of new materials and process steps. Meanwhile, mainstream memory technologies are continuously improving in terms of density and cost. Finally, there has been an absence of a killer application that would challenge dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash memory. [read further, LINK] - Thanks to Terry Francis for sharing this one!
Time to market for differen memory technologies (Yole Développment, LINK)
Unfortunately, Yole does not mention here the developments in Ferroelectric hafnium oxide based FeFET and FRAM (by NaMLab, Fraunhofer and Globalfoundries). There has been quite some progress over a 10 years development (originally imitated and discovered by Qimonda R.I.P.) so far and most recent approach by Imec integrating Ferro FETs in a bit scalable 3D-NAND style architecture. The main advantage of this technology is that in the case of a logic embedded memory cell and a stand alone 3D-NAND style version standard equipment and process flows can be used in HVM. In addition, according to Imec memory Guru Jan van Houdt, "It [FeFETs] has particularly interesting characteristics for future storage-class memory, which will help overcome the current bottleneck caused by the differences in speed between fast processors and slower mass memory"
The last couple of years there is an increased IP filing in hafnium oxide and related technologies and precursors and especially for ferroelectric memory. It was also apparent by studying the last VLSI program that there are man more mature activities in this technology and if I remember correctly there was 6-8 presentations on this topic. Possibly the report itself gives some insights also to the status of ferroelectric NVM technologies.
Imec is confident that their FeFET concept has all the required characteristics for both stand-alone and embedded memories, from non-volatile DRAM to Flash-like memories. (2017 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, Kyoto Japan June 7, 2017, source www.imec.be)
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