Novel Capacitor-less DRAM Technology with Energy Efficiency, Manufacturability, and Scalability

Novel Capacitor-less DRAM Technology with Energy Efficiency, Manufacturability, and Scalability


The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to disrupt the billion Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) market. DRAM – an essential memory component of PCs, mobile devices, and other electronics – has no known substitutes to date. This project focuses on commercializing a manufacturable, scalable, and ultra-low power replacement called Ferroelectric DRAM (FEDRAM). Due to its novel architecture, FEDRAM will unblock many of the obstacles that are currently hindering the DRAM industry (i.e. density scaling in accordance with Moore’s Law). While it remains difficult for many emerging memory technologies to gain traction, FEDRAM can be manufactured using existing facilities and equipment; therefore, it benefits from a relatively short time-to-market, and is cost-competitive with existing DRAM. Mobile devices enabled by FEDRAM technology will be lighter, sleeker, and more energy-efficient, while data centers will realize significant savings in energy and cost of chip ownership.

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to de-risk a Ferroelectric Dynamic Random Access Memory (FEDRAM) technology by accomplishing several key objectives. First, the team aims to build a physical FEDRAM memory cell and array technology demonstration; a secondary objective is to design and simulate refresh and error correction circuits. Specifically, it will produce memory cells and arrays that demonstrate promising characteristics in terms of memory retention, power consumption, and read/write speeds. Based on these results, more advanced arrays with the associated refresh and error correction circuitry will be designed and simulated. Phase I results will demonstrate that FEDRAM functions as predicted and that the material can be integrated in existing fabrication facilities. Completing these goals will significantly de-risk the technology and encourage commercial partnerships.


Senior Personnel: Prof. Yiran Chen (PI)
Sponsors: National Science Foundation SBIR
Team Members: Ismail Bayram, Zheng Li, Bonan Yan
Collaborators: Prof. T.P. Ma, Dr. Xiao Sun, Yale University
Start Date: 2015
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