Carbon Electronics Technology
NRAM or Non-volatile Random Access Memory is a SWCNT based memory that is being developed by Nantero, Inc., (see www.nantero.com) with the aim to replace memory in devices that range from a cell phone to enterprise systems. This responds to the growing demands for robust data storage, fast retrieval and low power consumption. NRAM is based on the incredible robustness of single walled carbon nanotubes including their mechanical strength at high frequency switching and tunable electrical conductivity over a wide range. They are the enabling active component to this type of memory. The memory enables faster data retrieval, uses little to no power, is instant on, and has excellent high temperature stability.
Electronic devices incorporate memory to record, store, and process data. There are three principal types of memory: DRAM (dynamic random access memory), SRAM (static RAM) and Flash (nonvolatile memory). Devices can use combinations of these to satisfy overall systems level requirements. To that end, companies have been aiming to replace these with a “universal memory” that incorporates the positive aspects of each type. This is because existing memory components are faced with increasing operational challenges—voltage scaling issues, leakage problems and rising soft error rates—as electronic devices become ever smaller and more portable. NRAM is able to meet all of these challenges.
The nanotube-based universal memory aims to have a cell size comparable to DRAM, speed comparable to SRAM, low active power requirements, no standby-power requirements, scalable unit operations and a systems-level approach that enables easy integration into existing fab-processes. Nantero has selected Nano-C’s SWCNT as its “Best Known Material” for a key application within NRAM, a consideration that includes enhanced device performance, cost, quality, consistency, reproducibility.
Among many other applications, transistors are an important component of the circuitry that turns the power of a given pixel in a display ON or OFF. LCDs employ all solid state, thin film transistors (TFTs) for driving the circuitry. However, the next generation of thinner, lighter and less power-consuming display systems is expected to be driven by flexible transistors fabricated by a printing process rather than the higher cost conventional semiconductor technologies. One of the more promising candidates for these flexible transistors is separated semiconducting SWCNT. Printable transistors based on exclusively semi-conducting SWCNTs have been demonstrated in various size formats by IBM, and others.