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Adesto Targets IoT Using CBRAM

February 23, 2016

Author: David Kanter

Adesto’s conductive-bridge RAM (CBRAM) is a novel nonvolatile memory that’s CMOS compatible. The new Moneta device, the company’s second-generation CBRAM product, is designed to replace discrete EEPROMs in embedded and IoT applications. It can be used for both code storage and data logging. Relative to EEPROMs, Moneta has 50–100x better power for data accesses and 5x better idle power as well as easier system integration. It also boasts unique radiation tolerance, a benefit for certain niche applications.

Compared with flash memory, CBRAM uses a fundamentally different data-storage mechanism that relies on changing the cell resistance through an electrochemical process. It employs lower, CMOS-compatible voltages for programming and can be formed in a logic process with just a few extra steps. NAND and NOR flash, by comparison, are difficult to integrate with CMOS and require special process technology.

To establish a solid record for the technology in the embedded market, Adesto offers Moneta as a discrete component. The company puts special emphasis on applications that benefit from low power (e.g., IoT) and high radiation or thermal tolerances (e.g., medical).

Adesto faces the usual challenges for any new technology, and the company is following the old adage of “crawl, walk, run.” After crawling for a few years, Adesto has proven that CBRAM is robust and reliable, and it has established a foothold in the market. Taking advantage of this experience, Moneta delivers reductions in cost and power that allow it to walk into new markets. Customer response has been strong, with design wins nearly doubling over the previous year. After rolling out Moneta, Adesto will be ready to accelerate and increase the integration level.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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