Emergent semiconductor memory technologies are finally breaking out of lab and getting into the fab. Non-volatile 3D NAND with its vertical memory stacks is reaching computers and data centers in volume. Intel and Micron’s 3D Xpoint™ is started its volume production ramp in 2016 and headed to a data center near you. Embedded MRAM is now on the major foundries roadmaps. Each of these technologies has required significant breakthroughs in materials technology. Some new materials are not friendly to manufacturing, so ways to process them had to be worked out. In other cases, such as the selector in 3D Xpoint, materials had to be developed that could withstand the infinite switching life requirements as these non-volatile memory cells got close to the processor. They also had to deal with changes in the physics, such as the adoption of space-charge. The same has been true for VNAND, where charge-trap technology is used in favor of the more conventional floating gate memory cells used in planar NAND. New materials have also come to the rescue for DRAMs, which continue to need planar shrinks. We find out why this is happening and what is needed in this conversation with Er-Xuan Ping, from Applied Materials (AMAT), where he’s Managing Director of Memory and Materials Technologies in the Advanced Product and Technology Development Group. He has previously held positions at Sandisk and Micron Technology. Dr. Ping holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.
weVISION is a series of video interviews of visionaries by G Dan Hutcheson, his career spans more than thirty years, in which he became a well-known as a visionary for helping companies make businesses out of technology. This includes hundreds of successful programs involving product development, positioning, and launch in Semiconductor, Technology, Medicine, Energy, Business, High Tech, Environment, Electronics, healthcare and Business divisions.