Epson Develops High-Speed Long-Life FeRAM
Seiko Epson Corporation has succeeded in developing ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM) – a next-generation type of semiconductor memory – offering a number of rewriting cycles over ten times greater than conventional products1. The results of Epson’s efforts will be displayed as a reference exhibit at the Embedded Technology 2006 trade show2 to be held on November 15. Since FeRAMs operate more than 100,000 times faster than EEPROMs and consume a tiny fraction (about 1/15,000th) of the power, they have the potential not only for current nonvolatile memory applications such as IC cards and mobile phones, but also as a substitute for semiconductor memory in embedded applications. With a view to commercialization of new types of memory, Epson has been developing FeRAM technology based on a new material named PZTN. To create the material, Epson added niobium in place of some of the titanium in lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a promising candidate for use in FeRAM material.
The company used an original technique to introduce 20 to 30 times the quantity of niobium than was previously possible. Using this new material based on 0.35 µm CMOS technology, Epson has now succeeded in developing long-life FeRAM. The company will use the reference exhibit at Embedded Technology 2006 to gauge market response and potential demand before speeding up its development efforts with a view to prompt commercialization.