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Brits gearing up to turn ReRAM in reality

by on15 March 2023

This is what a tomato free diet does for you 

A half-starved British company has turned their post-Brexit turnip diet into something useful by coming up with a viable version of ReRAM. 

Intrinsic Semiconductor Technologies is working on a new ReRAM technology and has now raised enough money to turn the failed promise of non-volatile RAM into a real business opportunity for innovative single-chip computing solutions.

For those not in the know, Intrinsic is a UK startup founded in 2017 by researchers at the University College London (UCL) while ReRAM is a commercial implementation of memristor technology, described in 1971 as the "missing link" in a quartet of basic electrical components alongside resistor, capacitor and inductor. A "memristive system" is a resistor with memory capabilities because it can change its resistance when an electric current is applied, and it can remember its state when the current is turned off.

ReRAM could provide fast data storage with low power requirements however it has been blighted over the decades as some of the big names have tried and failed to get it going. HP tried to develop commercially viable memristor-based solutions more than a decade ago, but ultimately failed. Competing RAM technologies such as 3D XPoint were short-lived: they promised exceptional performance and failed to meet early commercial expectations.

Intrinsic says its newly launched ReRAM technology solves almost all the problems of earlier memristive solutions. The company has received £7 million (€8.5 million) in a funding round led by Octopus Ventures and other investors, and £1 million from the UK's innovation agency (Innovate UK).

Intrinsic's ReRAM technology can be made using standard semiconductor materials such as silicon dioxide. Intrinsic's ReRAM technology is a CMOS complaint and should be cheaper for manufacturers as they can use existing machines to spit out ReRAM memory crisps.

The UK company claims that its ReRAM solution is easier to integrate into CPU logic circuits, while traditional flash memory doesn't offer the same level of integration convenience. According to Intrinsic CEO Mark Dickinson, the new RRAM technology has the potential to "become "the backbone of the next generation of edge and IoT computing" at a time when "data-hungry smart applications" are becoming more prevalent.


Last modified on 15 March 2023
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