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IEDM 2013: CEA-Leti and STMicroelectronics to Present BEOL, PCM Technology for Microcontroller Applications

A CEA-Leti and STMicroelectronics paper at IEDM 2013 in December will present an innovative back-end-of-line (BEOL), phase-change memory (PCM) technology that is positioned to become the dominant new embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) technology in future microcontroller applications.

The BEOL memory solution is based on a new Ge-rich Ge2Sb2Te5 material with N- or C-dopants. It is able to optimize the SET performance and the high temperature thermal stability of phase-change memories.

These innovative materials have been extensively characterized through physicochemical analysis and electrical tests and have been integrated in state-of-the-art memory cell prototypes.

The research at Leti shows a breakthrough, fully enabling PCM technology for microcontroller embedded applications, in which data integrity after the peak temperature of reflow soldering must be ensured.

The co-authored paper, “Trade-off Between SET and Data Retention Performance Thanks to Innovative Materials for Phase-Change Memory”, will be presented during Session 21 at IEDM 2013 in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9-11.

Emerging BEOL memories offer significant potential for embedded applications because they are independent of baseline CMOS and offer lower cost and improved performance. That makes them a promising, potential future alternative to embedded non-volatile Flash technologies. Issues that remain to be resolved before the technology can be industrialized include manufacturing maturity, understanding failure mechanisms and mitigation strategies.

Another paper written by Leti researchers also will report on innovative memory. It deals with a more explorative emerging resistive-memories technology that is extremely promising for future very low-power applications. The Session 30 paper is titled: “Investigation of the Physical Mechanisms Governing Data Retention in Down to 10nm Nano-Trench Al2O3/CuTeGe Conductive Bridge RAM (CBRAM).”

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