Imec and Panasonic Demonstrate Breakthrough RRAM Cell

Imec and Panasonic Corp. announced today that they have fabricated a 40nm TaOx-based RRAM (resistive RAM) technology with precise filament positioning and high thermal stability. This breakthrough result paves the way to realizing 28nm embedded applications. The results were presented at this year’s VLSI technology symposium (Kyoto, June 15-19 2015).

One of today’s most promising concepts for scaled memory is RRAM which is based on the electronic (current-or voltage-induced) switching of a resistor element material between two metals. Imec and Panasonic developed a method that overcomes filament instability in RRAM, one of the critical parameters that impacts the memory state during read operation in resistive memory.

The method was realized using a combination of process technologies such as low-damage etching, cell side oxidation, and an innovative encapsulated cell structure with an Ir/Ta2O5/TaOx/TaN stacked film structure featuring a filament at the cell center. With these methods, a 2-Mbit 40nm TaOx-based RRAM cell with precise filament positioning and high thermal stability was achieved. The memory array showed excellent reliability of 100k cycles and 10 years’ retention at 85°C. Additionally, the filament control and thermal stability technologies offer the potential to realize 28nm cell sizes.

Gosia Jurczak, director of imec’s research program on RRAM devices stated: “With these breakthrough results, we have proven the potential of this promising memory concept as embedded nonvolatile memory in 28nm technology node where conventional NOR Flash shows scaling limitations. This result is a confirmation of our leadership position in research and development on resistive memory.”

Cross-sectional TEM of 40-nm Ir(TE)/Ta2O5/TaOx/TaN (BE) RRAM

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates around 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.72 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2015. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers.
For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net/.

About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 2,200 people includes almost 700 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2014, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 363 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be. Stay up to date about what’s happening at imec with the monthly imec magazine, available for tablets and smartphones (as an app for iOS and Android), or via the website www.imec.be/imecmagazine
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.)and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

Contact:
imec : Hanne Degans, Press officer and communications specialist, T: +32 16 28 17 69, Mobile : +32 486 06 51 75, Hanne.Degans@imec.be