TORONTO — Better late than never might be a good way to sum up NRAM.
After years of not quite be ready for wide adoption, a new report from BCC Research is predicting that Nano-Ram (NRAM) is finally in a position to disrupt incumbent DRAM and flash memory with commercialization expected in 2018. The Wellesley, MA.-based research firm said the first non-volatile memory chip to exploit carbon-nanotube technology looks like it's finally ready to have a serious impact on computer memory.
“Industry experts had given up on waiting for CNT memory,” said BCC Research editorial director Kevin Fitzgerald in an interview with EE Times. “I believe one needed fresh eyes to really see that the time was coming when it was really possible to make the switch from silicon to carbon.”
He said a recent licensing agreement to manufacture NRAM commercially by tech giant Fujitsu prompted the firm's change in outlook, and while the report was being written, the NRAM vendor that struck that agreement, Nantero, received an additional $21 million in venture funding, solidifying the firm's suspicion NRAM is about to break into the open. BCC Research anticipates the global NRAM market to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62.5% from 2018 to 2023, with the embedded systems market anticipated to reach $4.7 million in 2018 and $217.6 million in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 115.3%.
The independent report expects NRAM technology to be more disruptive than flash memory was to enterprise storage, enterprise servers and consumer electronics, enabling a wave of innovation in those products. Applications that will be impacted quickly will include the consumer electronics sector, mobile computing, Internet of Things, enterprise storage, defense, aeronautics and automotive.
Fitzgerald said several computer memory experts and interested observers were already bullish about non-memory uses for the carbon nanotubes. “Many of the applications are directly related, like chemical sensors or RFID repeaters, but several are expressly for advanced materials uses, such as solar cells, fuel cells/batteries, power transmission and MEMs in general,” he said “The deeply stringent semiconductor manufacturing requirements has, it seems, led to unanticipated advantages for other applications. And from a business perspective, highly valuable IP positions.”
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