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Date: 22-12-13

CEA Leti and ST getting close to PCM memory integrated MCUs

CEA-Leti and STMicroelectronics presented a paper at IEDM 2013 held in December on back-end-of-line (BEOL), phase-change memory (PCM) technology, which can replace other on-chip memory such as flash and SRAM in microcontroller ICs. The paper titled “Trade-off Between SET and Data Retention Performance Thanks to Innovative Materials for Phase-Change Memory” was presented at IEDM 2013.

Memory cell prototypes were built by CEA Leti using Ge-rich Ge2Sb2Te5 material with N- or C-dopants and is extensively characterized through physicochemical analysis and electrical tests.

Leti says this research is a breakthrough, fully enabling PCM technology for microcontroller embedded applications, in which data integrity after the peak temperature of reflow soldering must be ensured.

Issues that remain to be resolved before the technology can be industrialized include manufacturing maturity, understanding failure mechanisms and mitigation strategies, as per Leti.

Another paper written by Leti researchers is also on innovative memory. It deals with a more explorative emerging resistive-memories technology that is extremely promising for future very low-power applications. The paper is titled as: “Investigation of the Physical Mechanisms Governing Data Retention in Down to 10nm Nano-Trench Al2O3/CuTeGe Conductive Bridge RAM (CBRAM).”

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