Weebit Nano's ReRAM module qualified for automotive grade temperature

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: Weebit Nano

Israel-based memory maker Weebit Nano has fully qualified its Resistive Random-Access Memory (ReRAM) module up to 125 degrees Celsius, the temperature specified for automotive grade 1 Non-Volatile Memories (NVMs), according to the company's press release dated August 1. The company indicates that the achievement demonstrates the suitability of Weebit ReRAM for use in microcontrollers and other automotive components, as well as high-temperature industrial and IoT applications.

The qualification was performed based on JEDEC industry standards for NVMs. These standards impose rigorous testing of many silicon dies blindly selected from three independent wafer lots. Weebit's demo chips were manufactured by its R&D partner CEA-Leti, a leading R&D institute based in France.

According to Weebit Nano, most chips for consumer and industrial applications need to be qualified for up to 10 years at temperatures between zero and 85 degrees Celsius. Advanced automotive components require qualification at higher temperatures for 10 years or longer, with zero failures. All the Weebit dies successfully passed the entire set of qualification tests at 125 degrees Celsius for 10 years retention.

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. ReRAM is expected to see applications in analog/mixed-signal, IoT, automotive, aerospace and defense, and heterogenous computing.

Coby Hanoch, CEO of Weebit Nano, noted that the latest achievement is part of an ongoing process through which Weebit is extending the qualification of its ReRAM technology to even higher temperatures, longer retention and higher endurance levels. According to Hanoch, the company is seeing increased interest in Weebit's ReRAM offering for automotive and industrial applications in its discussions with Tier-1 foundries and semiconductor companies.

"Embedded ReRAM is a promising candidate for automotive applications, demonstrating better performance metrics than flash, such as programming time, endurance, and power consumption. Thanks to the involvement of major foundries and leading automotive MCU suppliers, the volume of embedded ReRAM wafers is expected to rise at a CAGR >80% between 2022 and 2028," indicated Dr. Simone Bertolazzi, Principal Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Intelligence.

The Weebit ReRAM demo chip comprises a full sub-system for embedded applications, including the Weebit ReRAM module, a RISC-V microcontroller, system interfaces, memories and peripherals. The ReRAM module itself includes a 128Kb 1T1R ReRAM array, control logic, decoders, IOs (Input/Output communication elements) and error correcting code (ECC). It is designed with unique patent-pending analog and digital circuitry running smart algorithms that significantly enhance the memory array's technical parameters.

Back in June 30, 2023, Weebit announced that its ReRAM IP was fully qualified for industrial temperatures. The qualification used demo chips produced by US-based foundry SkyWater, using its 130nm process. Weebit entered into an agreement with SkyWater in 2021 to bring its technology to volume production. SkyWater is a Category 1A Trusted Foundry accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) under the US Department of Defense.