White Paper for:
Research in Advanced Memory Technologies

Overview

The Device Sciences area of SRC is soliciting white papers for advanced memory technologies. Going somewhat beyond a research community focus on new materials with memory effects, SRC is seeking research that will combine materials, device, and system research. Memory device applications are so broad that many different solutions are foreseen, although a unified memory that would combine the speed of SRAM, density of DRAM, and non-volatility of flash would be desirable. The principal goal of this program, therefore, is to identify new approaches for memory devices and circuits, providing high density, high performance, low power requirements, and scalability beyond the 32nm node. White papers may also address scaling principles related to conventional memory circuits as well as for novel memory devices.

This call for white papers, issued to universities worldwide, may be addressed by individual investigators or by research teams. A successful white paper submission is expected to result in an invitation to submit a full proposal, in a competitive procurement environment, for a three-year research contract. Research performed in this contract should pursue reduction of the most important technical barriers to realizing the potential of the proposed approach. The number and funding amount of the contracts awarded will be determined by the amount of available funds and by the number of high-quality proposals.

Research Needs

Continued growth in memory products will be hampered by the inability to further scale the majority of existing memory devices. It is questionable whether a stable SRAM cell can be scaled to the 32nm node without sacrificing cell size. Similarly, DRAM is facing problems in how to store the required number of electrons in ever-diminishing storage volumes. For traditional non-volatile memory devices like NOR flash, scaling could stop even before the 32nm node, while scaling of mass storage devices like NAND flash, is going to be very difficult beyond the 32nm node. Novel architectures may be needed to further improve data bandwidth in embedded as well as stand-alone memory applications. As always, density and cost are important issues for memory devices. Solutions like 3D integration and stacking are viable alternatives to scaling. In order to realize stacked memory devices novel selection devices are needed.

Specific, prioritized research needs for "Advanced Memory for 32nm Technology Node and Beyond" are detailed in a report (see below) recently prepared by Device Science's Memory Technology Task Force. Major areas covered include embedded memory, non-volatile memory, and the selection device. Proposed novel memory devices may span a very broad range of materials and operational principles. Their potential use both for embedded or stand-alone applications is important. Of particular interest are memory devices suitable for 3D integration, which can achieve the density of the 32nm technology node with relaxed lithographic features.

The white paper must describe the physical mechanism, scalability, stability, and propose sensing approaches if applicable. The white paper should also contain estimates of the eventual potential of the proposed approach based on simple, first-order analysis. Architectural white papers should clearly specify their novelty and potential benefits of the proposed approach. Further, the white paper should identify those most important technical/technology barriers to realizing the full potential of the proposed approach.

White Paper Guidelines

Responses are to be submitted as single PDF (or MS-Word) documents generated with 10 point or larger fonts and must be submitted via the SRC Web site. Limit document size to two pages, sized to the US standard (8.5 by 11 inches). Non-compliance with these guidelines will exclude white papers from consideration.

Please include the following identifying information in your white paper:

  • Project title
  • Investigator(s)
  • University(ies)
  • Principal Author telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address

Please address the following topics in your white paper:

  • Background/context: emphasis area and problem to be addressed; describe why research is being done
  • Objective: what you plan to accomplish in a three-year program
  • Rationale: value in terms of semiconductor industry needs
  • Novelty: role of this research in advancing knowledge and state-of-the-art
  • Approach: strategy for addressing the problem; describe important findings from your research to date
  • Results: anticipated output of a successful effort
  • Funding Request Amount: plan for three-year program funded by a research contract (university approval and official budgets are not required at this time)
  • Students: your plan for involvement and education of graduate students (a key SRC goal)

Awardees will be expected to:

  • Disclose blocking background intellectual property
  • Provide information about participating students
  • Submit publications resulting from sponsored research
  • Participate in annual research reviews
  • Provide annual reports and pre-defined deliverables

Timetable and Deadlines

Event Deadline
Request for White Papers November 11, 2005
Deadline to Submit White Papers December 16, 2005
Proposals Requested January 26, 2006
Deadline to Submit Proposals February 24, 2006
Program/Funding Start July 1, 2006

Please direct all technical questions to Dr. Jim Hutchby, (james.hutchby@src.org ).
All other questions and responses should be directed to Jennifer Bennett, (jennifer.bennett@src.org).

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