Weebit Nano, a developer of Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM), and SkyWater Technology, a trusted foundry accredited by the US Department of Defense, have announced on November 20 that Weebit's ReRAM IP module is now ready for production tapeout at SkyWater, using its 130nm CMOS process at temperatures of up to 125 degrees Celsius - the temperature specified for Grade-1 automotive applications.
The foundry's 130nm platform is designated for mixed-signal IoT and edge computing applications. It also incorporates embedded non-volatile memory to be more suitable for a wide range of SoC architectures.
The news came following Weebit and SkyWater's August announcement to have fully qualified the former's ReRAM module up to 125 degrees Celsius on 130nm platform. Weebit entered into an agreement with SkyWater in 2021 to bring its technology to volume production, and announced its ReRAM IP was fully qualified for industrial temperatures in June 2023.
Most chips for consumer and industrial applications needed 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. The company believes that ReRAM IP enables semiconductor designs to be faster, lower cost, more reliable and more energy efficient than those using flash or other emerging non-volatile memories (NVM) such as MRAM. Weebit also claims 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.
"Such qualification demonstrates the quality and repeatability of Weebit's embedded ReRAM IP for applications requiring high-temperature reliability. This includes various industrial, IoT, and aerospace products, as well as many automotive components, which must be qualified for operation at 125 degrees Celsius in applications which have lifetimes in excess of 10 years," stated a SkyWater press release. The qualification was performed to JEDEC industry standards for NVM.
"SkyWater has customers across the industrial, automotive and aerospace domains who require support for a wide range of temperatures in their products. Weebit ReRAM is ideal for such applications as it performs well at high temperatures and offers added benefits in terms of simplicity, power efficiency, tolerance to electromagnetic fields, and other advantages. We are continuing to progress our discussions with potential customers who we anticipate will adopt Weebit ReRAM in 2024 and beyond," stated Coby Hanoch, CEO of Weebit Nano.
John Sakamoto, SkyWater's new president since September, stated that SkyWater's customers from automotive, industrial and aerospace sectors are increasingly looking to embed advanced NVM in their chips to add functionality and differentiation. "With the recent qualification, we expect to see even more interest in Weebit ReRAM among customers who are looking for NVM that can extend to 125 degrees Celsius. We are delighted to mark another qualification milestone with Weebit," said the SkyWater president.
According to Dr. Simone Bertolazzi, Principal Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Intelligence, the volume of embedded ReRAM wafers is expected to rise at a CAGR >80% between 2022 and 2028, thanks to the involvement of major foundries and leading automotive MCU suppliers.