Samsung acquires Grandis

Samsung announced that it has acquired Grandis, developer of STT-MRAM technology. We do not have any financial details yet, but Grandis' CEO Frahad Tabrizi said that this deal serves as a& "very successful exit" for Grandis's investors. Grandis raised $15 million since it was founded in 2002 (and also raised about the same from DARPA grants including a $8.6 million second-phase project granted in June 2010).

Grandis licensed their technology to several companies. We know that Hynix licensed it in 2008. The company was also collaborating with Renesas technologies. Hynix and Grandis were developing a compact in-plane MTJ based STT-RAM device that uses modified DRAM processes at 54nm.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 02,2011

IBM, Samsung and Hynix-Grandis report STT-MRAM research progress

During the International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) exhibition we got some updates about STT-MRAM research done at IBM, Samsung and Hynix-Grandis (who are researching STT-MRAM together).

IBM is working together with TDK and has presented a new 4-kbit perpendicular STT-MRAM array using tunnel junctions. Samsung has presented an on-axis MRAM with a novel MTJ, which they say open he way towards sub-30nm scaling. Using ferromagnetic electrode and a different MTJ structure design, Samsung think that they can scale this to a sub-20nm level.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 08,2010

Grandis to develop non-volatile spin logic applications

Grandis has been awarded a new contract from DARPA to use their spintronics and magnetic-material expertise and develop non-volatile spin logic applications: which promises non-volatile, ultra-fast, radiation-hard and radically lower power consumption.

Development work will focus on integrating magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) materials capable of sensing very small magnetic fields with nano-magnets performing logic operations. The goal is to demonstrate non-volatile spin logic circuits operating at ultra-fast speeds of less than 1 nanosecond and ultra-low power consumption of less than 10 atto-Joules per operation. Such performance coupled with the inherent non-volatility of spin logic devices will enable not just significant reductions in the active power consumption of microprocessors but also the virtual elimination of standby power consumption.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 19,2010

Crocus and Grandis present their MRAM tech at the Flash Memory Summit 2009

The final day of the Flash Memory Summit started with a panel on new memory technologies.

Crocus Technologies presented their TAS MRAM design which is targeted at SRAM and flash applications. Their product compared to SRAM at a 25% smaller cell, adding Non-Volatile capability, and a zero standby current. The product compared to NAND flash by having a smaller cell and only 1X area overhead for controlling circuitry. It is currently being built on a 130nm node and can be scaled. It is targeted at Cache memory, data logging, medical instrumentation, casino gaming and industrial control applications. They are targeting several business models - selling the standard product ICs, licensing IP a process technology licensing service and providing a foundry service.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 16,2009

Grandis Opens New Fabrication Facility for STT-RAM

Grandis today announced their 300-millimeter magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) fabrication facility (Fab) in the US dedicated to STT-RAM. Grandis is now able to incorporate STT-RAM into its customers' most advanced semiconductor processes on 300mm wafers.

Grandis' MTJ Fab can now handle both 200mm and 300mm customer wafers. In a multi-million dollar investment, key equipment for depositing and annealing MTJ memory elements, the critical building blocks for STT-RAM, was purchased. Since Grandis' new licensees are often not familiar with fabricating MTJ elements and do not possess the associated fab equipment and know-how, the MTJ Fab's main purpose is enable licensees to incorporate Grandis' MTJ elements into their CMOS wafers at the earliest possible stage in the development cycle, thereby accelerating their STT-RAM development and reducing their time-to- market. The MTJ Fab also enables Grandis to conduct leading-edge R&D on new magnetic materials and MTJ elements targeted at further reducing STT-RAM write current and die size. As these new materials, structures and processes are proven, they are transferred immediately to licensees' production fabs.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 09,2009

Grandis Awarded DARPA Contract To Develop STT-MRAM

Grandis announced that it has been awarded $6.0 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the initial phase of research to develop spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) chips (for the 45 nm technology node and beyond). The total value of the effort, if all phases of the development program are completed, could be up to $14.7 million over four years.

The program will be carried out by a world-class collaboration between Grandis and the Universities of Virginia and Alabama. Under the direction of Principal Investigator Dr. Eugene Chen of Grandis, development work will cover STT materials and processes, STT architecture and circuit blocks, and ultimately test and verification of STT-RAM integrated memory arrays.
"The goal of this program is to deliver dense, high-performance, cost-effective universal memory chips employing STT technology," explained Dr. Devanand Shenoy, program manager in DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office. "Demanding specifications must be met by the materials and devices throughout the project to ensure delivery of ground-breaking technology."
Read the full story Posted: Oct 29,2008

Hynix licenses Grandis' STT-RAM technology

Hynix Semiconductor and Grandis have signed a license agreement for memory products involving Grandis' patents and intellectual property (IP) in the spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) arena.

Hynix and Grandis have also entered into a collaborative agreement to jointly integrate Grandis' STT-RAM technology into Hynix' future memory products. Technical teams from both companies will work together to implement Grandis' STT-RAM technology, including magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) materials and structures.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 02,2008

Grandis gets new CEO, says will be soon ready to go to market

Grandis announced it has appointed Farhad Tabrizi as the company's president and chief executive officer (CEO). Tabrizi assumes the position from William Almon, Grandis co-founder, who remains a major shareholder.

“I am pleased to be joining a company with leading-edge memory developments supported by top industry technologists. Based on my experience in semiconductor memory, I see that its existing cell architectures are quickly reaching their technology limits. Compared to competitive alternatives, I sincerely feel STT-RAM (spin-transfer torque RAM technology) has the best potential for becoming the next generation unified memory architecture, replacing SRAM, NOR, DRAM and eventually NAND. Our initial prototype looks highly promising, and we will soon be ready to go to market, said Tabrizi.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 28,2007