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November 15th, 2007
Nantero is a nanotechnology company using carbon nanotubes for the development of next-generation semiconductor devices. The company's main focus is the development of NRAM, a high-density nonvolatile random access memory chip using nanotechnology. Nantero expects to deliver a product that will replace all existing forms of memory, such as DRAM, SRAM and flash memory, with a high-density nonvolatile RAM, "universal memory."
HPCwire: You're calling NRAM the "universal memory," which suggests that you believe this technology can be applied to all memory applications -- can you describe how this technology will be able to achieve this?
Greg Schmergel: NRAM is based on a nanoelectromechanical switch using carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes have an extremely high tensile strength, and conduct electricity and heat very well. The switch is bi-stable, with the nanotubes being held in the "1" position by van der Waals forces. Due to the low mass of nanotubes, which are being moved a very short distance, the speed of NRAM can rival that of DRAM, while being permanently nonvolatile like flash and consuming very little power. Also very important is the fact that NRAM can be scaled to very small dimensions due to the small size of nanotubes (about a nanometer in diameter), making it a viable technology for many generations to come. Nantero has already fabricated 22nm switches and could go well below that with the requisite lithographic tools.
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