US foundry SkyWater boosts presence in edge computing with qualified ReRAM IP

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: SkyWater

US-based foundry SkyWater Technology has confirmed that Weebit Nano's Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM) IP has been fully qualified for industrial temperatures employing SkyWater's 130nm CMOS process. The qualification used demo chips produced by SkyWater which integrate Weebit's ReRAM IP. According to SkyWater, all the die successfully passed the entire set of qualification tests, validating the ReRAM's suitability for volume production as embedded IP.

Based in Israel, Weebit Nano's ReRAM IP was made avaliable in SkyWater's 130nm process since March 2023. Incorporated in 2015, Weebit has been focusing on ReRAM technology - deemed as the successor to flash memory - and entered into an agreement with SkyWater in 2021 to bring its technology to volume production.

In a SkyWater press release dated June 28, the foundry indicated that the Weebit ReRAM IP has become qualified for high endurance, data retention, retention after cycling, and 3x SMT solder reflow cycles.

"Successful qualification of our technology in SkyWater S130 confirms that customers can have confidence that the IP will work reliably as specified. Together with SkyWater, we are engaged in numerous customer discussions and anticipate that Weebit ReRAM will be in design with one or more of these customers during this calendar year." said Coby Hanoch, Weebit Nano CEO. Hanoch added that SkyWater's technology as-a-service approach is a great differentiator for customers developing new IP, and its process technologies for mixed-signal designs, rad-hard ICs, ROICs and power management are an excellent fit for Weebit's ReRAM technology.

Steve Kosier, SkyWater CTO, indicated that SkyWater's customers are increasingly looking to integrate non-volatile memory (NVM) in their SoC designs to embed more intelligence and capabilities in their next-generation products. "Weebit ReRAM is ideal for many of our customers' applications, with ultra-low power consumption, fast access time, excellent reliability even at high temperatures and tolerance to radiation and electro-magnetic fields," said Kosier.

With an embedded NVM enabled in SkyWater's CMOS platform, the foundry is now in a better position to serve the smart IoT device and edge computing markets. Notably, SkyWater is a Category 1A Trusted Foundry accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) under the US Department of Defense.

Weebit believes that the ReRAM IP enables semiconductor designs to be faster, lower cost, more reliable and more energy efficient than those using flash or other emerging NVMs such as MRAM. The company also indicates that its ReRAM technology is able to retain data for up to 20 years at 175 degrees Celsius, and withstand 350x more ionizing radiation than flash. In comparison, production designed with flash require extra design for redundancy or shielding.

According to the the chipmaker, its ReRAM IP is an embedded module with a complete set of EDA views and collateral compatible with the industry leading design flows. The module in SkyWater's 130nm platform includes a 256Kb ReRAM array, control logic, decoders, IOs (Input/Output communication elements) and error correcting code (ECC). Its scalable, modular design also enables customization according to a customer's specific design requirements (e.g., memory density, word size, system interface).

Upon request, the module can be made available as part of a complete subsystem including a RISC-V microcontroller (MCU), system interfaces, Static Random-Access Memory (SRAM), and peripherals.

According to SkyWater, Weebit's ReRAM Technology can be scaled to a number of other technologies like SkyWater's 90nm and carbon nanotube platforms. Its use of fab-friendly materials allows the technology to be quickly integrated with existing flows and processes, without the need for special equipment and large investments.