Startup Weebit Nano has raised $40 million to boost sales of its ReRAM non-volatile memory.
We call it a startup although it IPO’d on the Australian stock exchange in 2016 just one year after being founded to develop ReRAM technology invented and patented by Rice University’s Professor James Tour, an unusual route for an Israeli startup. It merged with Radar Iron in Australia and so gained an Australia Securities Exchange presence. It has raised money since by share placements rather than VC funding rounds, as has just happened with this $40 million gained from selling 12 million shares to international institutional investors and existing shareholders.
A statement from CEO Coby Hanoch said: “Our first ReRAM product is now available to customers through SkyWater Technology, and we are in advanced discussions with many leading fabs and integrated device manufacturers. Funds raised, combined with our strong balance sheet of approximately US$31 million cash at the end of December 2022, ensure we are well placed to transfer and qualify our ReRAM technology in Tier-1 fabs and foundries to capitalize on the growing global need for better performing memory technology.”
Resistive RAM (ReRAM) is storage-class memory (SCM), strong binary values as one of two measured resistance states based on the presence or absence of oxygen filaments in a nano-porous SiOx (silicon oxide) material. The technology has DRAM-class speed (100ns write) and endurance (~1 million write cycles and 10-year retention).
Weebit Nano has developed the Rice research into usable technology in the embedded computing market. It aims to extend it to the discrete memory market by adding a selector to its ReRAM cells with help from the French CEA/Leti research institution.
Having achieved initial availability from SkyWater in a 130nm process, Weebit Nano says it will use the $40 million to build on that rollout and continue product development. Hanoch said: “Our ReRAM has already demonstrated it is able to scale to smaller geometries for advanced applications, and has significant competitive advantages over other existing and emerging memory technologies.”
Intel’s Optane withdrawal, after several years of trying to establish an SCM market, educated potential customers and semiconductor foundries then left them with no 3D XPoint product future, leaving a gap. Weebit Nano wants to poke its head through that gap and tell them that ReRAM could be just what they need.