Hitachi, Renesas unveil low-power phase-change memory cells

December 19, 2005 – Hitachi Ltd. and Renesas Technology Corp. say they have successfully prototyped low-power phase-change memory cells programmed at a power supply voltage of 1.5V and current of 100mA, consuming about 50% less power consumption/cell than the companies’ previous technology.

The cells use a phase-change film developed by controlled oxygen doping of a germanium-antimony-tellurion (GeSbTe) material, which helped constrain the resistance of the film and suppress flow of excessively large currents during programming. Also, with the cell implementation, gate widths of the MOS transistors forming the cells can be decreased and drive output MOS transistors reduced, reducing the size of the memory cells and drive circuitry.

The cells, fabricated in a 130nm CMOS process, are seen to have application in on-chip program and data storage in next-generation microcontrollers for embedded applications.


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