CIMdata PLM Industry Summary Online Archive

10 September 2008

Company News

Synopsys and Ovonyx Collaborate on TCAD Models for Phase Change Memory

Synopsys, Inc. and Ovonyx Inc., a developer of proprietary phase change semiconductor memory technology, announced an agreement to work on the development of device simulation models for phase change memory (PCM) based on Ovonyx's PCM technology.

DRAM and Flash memories are the two largest segments of the semiconductor memory market and are fundamental components in consumer and industrial electronic devices such as computers, cellular phones, MP3 players and digital cameras. PCM is widely considered to be a practical alternative to Flash and DRAM devices, both of which will encounter increasing scaling challenges in the face of shrinking device geometries. With this collaboration, Ovonyx provides Synopsys with material and device characterization data for Synopsys to develop and calibrate TCAD models for PCM device simulation.

"Ovonyx's PCM technology offers the benefit of increased performance and relative ease of scaling to future smaller memory device nodes," said Howard Ko, senior vice president and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group at Synopsys. "This collaboration can increase the effectiveness of Synopsys' Sentaurus TCAD tools for modeling emerging technologies such as PCM, so that chipmakers can have a cost-effective alternative for continued scaling of semiconductor devices."

"Synopsys has world-class expertise in developing sophisticated Technology Computer-Aided Design (TCAD) simulation tools for the semiconductor industry," said Tyler Lowrey, president and chief executive officer of Ovonyx. "We believe this collaboration with Synopsys to develop and enhance simulation capabilities for PCM will assist the commercialization efforts of PCM products by worldwide chipmakers."

About Phase Change Memory Technology

Ovonyx and its largest shareholder, Energy Conversion Devices, invented and pioneered the development of "PCM" technology, thereby gaining a fundamental understanding of PCM operation, including PCM devices, materials, processing, design, modeling, and performance. Ovonyx PCM technology uses a reversible phase-change process that provides for high performance, dense, array-addressed semiconductor memory technology that can be used as cost effective Flash and DRAM device replacements, as well as in embedded applications such as microcontrollers and reconfigurable MOS logic.

About Synopsys TCAD

Technology CAD (TCAD) refers to the use of computer simulation to model semiconductor processing and device operation. TCAD provides insight into the fundamental physical phenomena that ultimately impact performance and yield.

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