Panasonic announced a new partnership with Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) to co-develop and produce RRAM devices. The two companies aim to use a 40nm process to produce RRAM chips that consume one-seventh the power of today's NAND flash memory.
Panasonic will be in charge of designing the chips, and the two companies will co-develop the microfabrication technologies. Actual production will be done at UMC. The two companies plan to start shipping samples in 2018 and mass produce RRAM chips by 2019. The first RRAM devices will be embedded in microcontrollers.
The RRAM chips are targeted for niche applications, and the goal is to achieve about 5 million yen (around $45 million) in yearly sales following the mass production stage. Panasonic aims to market RRAM chips for smart cards and passports. Panasonic also aims to license the technology for other chip makers.
Panasonic started low-volume RRAM production in 2013 using a 180-nm process.