|[June 30, 2014]
Crossbar Unveils Major Technical Innovation Behind Terabyte Storage-on-a-Chip
SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
Crossbar, Inc., a start-up company pioneering 3D Resistive
RAM (RRAM) technology, today disclosed further details behind its
revolutionary non-volatile RRAM technology. The company announced it has
demonstrated pre-production 1MB arrays using its patented "1TnR" (1
Transistor driving n Resistive memory cells)
selectivity for read/write operations, representing a critical milestone
toward commercializing terabyte scale memory arrays on a postage stamp
1TnR makes it possible for a single transistor to manage a very large
number of interconnected memory cells, enabling very high capacity
solid-state storage. Other memories utilizing passive cross-point
architectures, such as Resistive RAM (News - Alert), PCM (Phase Change Memory) and
neuromorphic systems, experience unintended electrical current when
accessing high density storage due to a phenomenon called "sneak path
current." Until now, these memories have not been able to access data
and have consumed excessive power, making dense memory configurations
impractical. For the past decade, many of the world's experts have
attempted to solve this issue, but with limited success. Crossbar is the
first company to deliver a solution to this industry-wide problem by
enabling a single transistor to drive over 2,000 memory cells with very
low power, producing super-dense Crossbar RRAM semiconductor memories.
"Crossbar has once again broken through traditional boundaries with its
innovative and patented 3D RRAM technology," said George Minassian, CEO,
Crossbar Inc. "With 1TnR, companies will realize the dream of extremely
dense, highly reliable, and high performance solid state storage. It's
truly ground breaking and has the potential to redefine what's possible
in enterprise storage and high-capacity non-volatile SoC memories."
According to IBM (News - Alert)1, 2.5 Exabytes - or 2.5 billion Gigabytes
(GB) - of data was generated every day in 2012. All of this data needs
to be stored and accessed quickly, at low power, and in a very compact
space. Enterprises and service providers struggle with managing today's
storage systems using aging disk-drive technologies. Storage systems
must be re-architected using solid-state storage technologies. Hybrid,
or all Flash, storage solutions are gaining momentum, but the majority
of the enterprise storage market still relies on disk drive technologies
as a core part of their architectures, for cost, available capacities
and reliability concerns.
The true transformation to next generation high capacity storage systems
will require a revolutionary new approach to solid-state storage devices
and their interconnected processors. This transformation will enable
hundreds of terabytes, in a small form factor, to be accessed at high
speed, high throughput and high IOPS (input/output operations per
second), while consuming less power at lower cost. Many of these
technical challenges have been overcome by Crossbar's 3D RRAM
Cell physics - Traditional Flash memory materials wear out quickly
after being accessed and rewritten too many times, leading to
degrading performance, unrecoverable data loss and limited lifetime.
RRAM solutions do not suffer similar wear-out issues due to the
technology's fundamental memory cell structure, based on metallic
nano-filament in a non-conductive layer;
Economics - Semiconductor manufacturing facilities for advanced NAND
Flash require multi-billion dollar investments. Crossbar's RRAM can be
stacked in 3D directly on top of standard CMOS wafers, making it very
cost effective to manufacture;
Super dense memory array architecture - The 1TnR selectivity feature,
invented and patented by Crossbar, solves the fundamental problem of
scalable high-capacity storage.
Crossbar's latest 1TnR RRAM technology is built upon the foundation of
its one transistor per memory cell technology that has been validated in
silicon using the company's 1 Megabyte (MB) storage device for embedded
code applications. This device features very low latency and very fast
read performance, as required for code applications. Its simplicity,
superior capabilties and CMOS compatibility enable logic and memory to
be easily and cost-effectively integrated onto a single chip, at the
latest technology node, on standard manufacturing processes. Together,
the company's 1TnR technology, ideal for high-capacity 3D RRAM data
storage applications, and 1T1R technology for embedded code
applications, forms the basis for the company's IP licensing and
standalone product line roadmap.
Crossbar is currently finalizing agreements with several leading global
semiconductor companies and plans to announce its first licensing
agreements with customers shortly. The company intends to present
further technical details of its 1TnR technology at upcoming conferences.
"Scaling to a Terabyte on a chip requires a brand new approach to
creating a super dense memory array, which has been a stumbling block
for large scale non-volatile memory," said Alan Niebel, founder and CEO
of Webfeet Research. "With Crossbar's 1TnR innovation, we may see
a future where non-volatile memory can realistically achieve cost
effective and high yields without 32 or more monolithically connected
layers, possibly replacing disk drives for all but archival storage."
"Crossbar's RRAM approach covers both spectrums of the market with its
1TnR technology," said James Bagley, senior analyst of SSG-NOW.
"While its proven 1T1R technology targets the embedded code
applications, its ability to demonstrate 1TnR directly impacts the
high-capacity 3D RRAM data storage applications. Crossbar is well on its
way to redefining what is technologically possible in the enterprise
"The memory technology that replaces NAND flash must have a compelling
cost structure, and this means that everything will have to shrink
beyond NAND's limits: not only the bit cell, but also the select
mechanism," said Jim Handy, principal analyst at Objective Analysis.
"Crossbar's 1TnR technology is a good candidate in this regard, with its
ability to share a single select transistor among a number of memory
"The potential for non-volatile memory in the enterprise is huge, and
companies continue to innovate in order to overcome the shortcomings of
current technologies," said Randy Kerns, senior strategist and analyst
at the Evaluator Group. "Crossbar's RRAM is a new approach to
address the issues. This technology allows enterprise storage to have
hundreds of terabytes in a single system, built completely on
"Crossbar's continued progress is another validation that its RRAM
solution will be the winning next generation memory technology," said
Sherry Garber, founding partner of Convergent Semiconductors.
"The technical achievement outlined in 1TnR is truly remarkable and
provides the most viable path to achieving extremely high density,
highly reliable, and high performance solid state storage."
"The advancement and growth of non-volatile memory depends upon the
continued development of new technologies," said Tom Coughlin, president
of Coughlin Associates. "Crossbar has contributed significantly
to the advance of resistive memory technology with its development of
1TnR in working silicon samples."
"Crossbar RRAM technology seems very promising in terms of scalability,
endurance, power consumption and especially manufacturing cost," said
Yann de Charentenay, senior analyst, MEMS Devices & Technologies at Yole
Développement (Yole). In Yole's report, entitled "Emerging
Non-Volatile Memory" (Released in Feb. 2013), the company was expecting
that RRAM technology would be the best candidate for NAND replacement in
mass storage applications. "Since this technology and market analysis
has been published, RRAM technology has made significant progress in
term of scalability/chip density. We are excited to see the first
Crossbar RRAM samples," he added.
About Crossbar, Inc.
Founded in 2010 as a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers incubation,
Crossbar, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, is the inventor
of a new class of non-volatile RRAM memory technology. Designed to usher
in a new era of electronics innovation, Crossbar will deliver up to a
terabyte (TB) of storage on a single-chip the size of a postage stamp,
with very low power, very high performance and compatibility with
standard CMOS semiconductor manufacturing tools, processes and
infrastructure. As the exclusive holder of resistive RAM (RRAM) patents
from the University of Michigan, Crossbar has filed 125 unique patents,
with 50 already issued. Crossbar recently completed its Series C
financing round of funding with investments from Artiman Ventures,
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Northern Light Venture Capital, the
University of Michigan, SAIF Partners, Korea Investment Partners,
CBC-Capital and Tao Invest. For more information, visit www.crossbar-inc.com or
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