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Crossbar

Crossbar Inc. is the leader in RRAM technology, widely accepted as the front-runner to replace traditional Flash technology in future storage systems. Delivering terabyte storage on a postage stamp-sized chip, with power low enough for massive adoption throughout the Internet of Things, Crossbar RRAM is easy to tailor for a broad range of applications. From embedded memory on SOCs for wearables, to very high density SSDs for cloud data centers, Crossbar is ushering in a new era of storage innovation. For more information, visit www.crossbar-inc.com

see also:- Crossbar RRAM overview, "ReRAM" - mentions on StorageSearch.com

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who's who in SSD? - Crossbar

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor StorageSearch.com

Crossbar first appeared as a company of interest to the SSD market in August 2013 when it emerged from stealth mode and unveiled the prototype of a new 3D stackable non volatile RAM like technology called RRAM which it claimed "would deliver 20x faster write performance, 20x lower power consumption, and 10x the endurance at half the die size, compared to today's best-in-class NAND Flash memory."

I had heard similar claims to replace flash from many other companies in the alternative nvm market and listed them in an article - storage media contenders which threatened flash SSDs in the past decade. So I considered Crossbar to be just another company in that category. Some of these technologies have in fact been used in applications in which storage density is less important than some other attribute - such as environmental ruggedness - for example - and the ability to implement a fast non volatile memory in a small physical space - but they were a long way off being viable and able to replace most of the flash in any SSD at that time.

2 years later - in the summer of 2015 - Micron and Intel started preannouncing a new 3D ReRAM technology called Optane which they promised might ship in the next few years aimed at the memory channel SSD market.

So then many people in the industry started looking around and re-posing the fundamental question - how real is this stuff? And what percentage of these kinds of claims might be true?

That scepticism - remember - had been conditioned by 12 years of the alternative nvm market crying wolf and claiming in would replace flash real soon.

Well we're still a long way off flash being replaced everywhere. But the potential rewards of gambling in the enlarged SSD ecosystem with new risky memory technologies are much greater than they have been in the past. Because even the smaller niches and segments in the enterprise SSD universe are big enough to satisfy investors.

And in my opening article for 2015 - I said "All the systems in the market today are implementations of transient architectures which are pragmatically adapting legacy installations and infrastructure. And ...there are still many surprises ahead from SSD market in 2015 - which promises to be another momentous year for the SSD market."

In August 2015 in a paper - Versatile RRAM Technology and Applications (pdf) delivered at the Flash Memory Summit - Crossbar's cofounder Hagop Nazarian said that not only is his company's technology accessible to the fabless manufacturing model (as it uses standard CMOS processing) but - intriguingly - the discrimination window between the on and off states would improve as cell geometries were scaled to be smaller.

That's the opposite case to nand flash where the demand for stronger ECC to maintain data integrity increases as cells get smaller. The suggestion is that RRAM will be easy to manufacture - and (if it proves to be a reliable memory technology) might scale to similar densities (or beyond) to flash.

So in September 2015 - when Crossbar announced it had secured a $35 million Series D funding round - in a way that was similar to all those earlier nvm funding stories and acquisitions I'd read about before. But maybe - just maybe - the story will end differently this time.

See also:- flash and other nvms, VCs in SSDs, storage market research
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Crossbar mentions in SSD market history

In September 2015 - Crossbar announced it has completed a $35 million Series D funding round bringing total investment to $85 million to date. Crossbar plans to use the funds to continue the commercial ramp of its game-changing non-volatile (NVM) memory technology.

In January 2017 - Crossbar announced it was sampling 8Mb ReRAM based on 40nm CMOS friendly technology.

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Crossbar samples 8Mb ReRAM
Editor:- January 12, 2017 - A report in EE Times Europe - Crossbar ReRAM in production at SMIC - says that Crossbar is sampling 8Mb ReRAM (its byte writable alt nvm) with R/W latency about 20nS and 12nS respectively and endurance north of 100K cycles.

The 8Mb chips use 40nm CMOS processing and the company plans to offer its nvm IP as cores which can be integrated in SoCs so as to make best use of the low latency.

Crossbar told EE Times Europe that the early customers would be characterizing the new memory and assessing its reliability. This is an important hurdle for any new memory technology to cross before designers can have the confidence to integrate them into commercial products. ...read the article
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Crossbar gets $35 million series D funding
Editor:- September 14, 2015 - Crossbar today announced it has completed a $35 million Series D funding round bringing total investment to $85 million to date.

Crossbar plans to use the funds to continue the commercial ramp of its RRAM NVM memory technology which is based on a simple device structure using CMOS friendly materials and standard manufacturing processes. It can be stacked in 3D, making it possible to combine logic and memory onto a single chip at the latest technology node.

Crossbar is currently working with beta customers to bring products to market in 2016.


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who's who in ReRAM? - IHS article
Editor:- May 1, 2015 -Who's doing what re the commercialization of ReRAM - one of the seldomly heard from NVM cousins - can be learned in a new article - Taking Embedded ReRAM to 28nm - written by Peter Clarke which appeared in IHSElectronics360.
Flash Memory
flash & nvm

Among other things re ReRAM - Peter Clarke says - "It has been the subject of much research over the last decade because it had been predicted that NAND flash memory would fail to scale beyond critical dimensions of 20nm."

The article (citing among other sources - a paper by IMEC) tells you which companies are still in this technology and discusses current memory densities and controllers. ...read the article

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