Thursday, August 06, 2009

US Patent 7569846 - Nanowire phase change RAM

Phase change RAM has been under experimental study for decades but appears to be getting ready as a strong contender for the non-volatile memory market with companies including Samsung, Intel, STMicroelectronics, and Hynix preparing for mass-production. This patent from Samsung teaches using nanowires to reduce the contact area between electrodes and phase change material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A phase-change random access memory (PRAM) device comprising:

a lower structure;

a plurality of contact plugs extending from the lower structure; a plurality of nanowires extending from respective terminal ends of the plurality of contact plugs, and wherein the nanowires are formed within the contact plugs; and

a phase-change layer formed on the one end of the contact plugs.