Jan. 3, 2008 - Germany's Qimonda and Taiwan's Macronix International have signed a deal to jointly develop nonvolatile memory technologies over a five-year period, sharing development costs and pooling engineering resources. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the deal, Qimonda will offer up its 300mm-based technology manufacturing and nonvolatile development know-how, with Macronix contributing its expertise in flash memory technologies. Work will be done at Qimonda's R&D and 300mm manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany.
The two companies had been reportedly close to a deal last summer to make NAND flash memory, at the heart of which would be Macronix's proprietary bandgap engineered silicon oxide nitric oxide silicon (BESONOS), which can adjust a chip's silicon-oxide bandgap and is viewed as a possible next-gen replacement for NAND, though commercial manufacturing is still 5-10 years away.
A year ago at the 2006 IEDM, both companies along with IBM touted joint work in phase-change memory as a potential successor to flash memory, showing a prototype device that switched orders of magnitude faster than flash memory while using half the power and with far smaller footprint.