Contour Semiconductor awarded three new U.S. patents

Contour Semiconductor, Inc., a developer of non-volatile memory technologies, today announced it has been awarded three new patents to back its Diode Transistor Memory (DTM) technology, the world’s lowest production-cost, non-volatile memory technology.The three new patents recognize Contour’s achievements in the field of low-mask count/reduced process step memory, and bring the company’s total issued patents to 45.

The new patents focus on better and more cost effective approaches to phase-change and resistive non-volatile memory, 3D memory, and embedded memory applications – concepts that are “top of the list” for memory manufacturers and their customers.

“Contour’s patent portfolio seeks to return Moore’s Law to the non-volatile discussion, and enable the next big thing,” said Contour CEO Saul Zales. “DTM technology will overcome production and CapEx challenges that stymie NAND manufacturers, and deliver significant technical advantages over traditional NAND flash memory, to support emerging and future technologies like wearables, Internet connected devices and the Internet of Things.”

Contour estimates the production cost of its DTM to be 60-65 percent lower than today’s NAND memory, while maintaining or improving on NAND’s performance and endurance.

NAND is currently used in a wide range of products from digital photography to smartphones and solid-state drives. However, in recent years, the high costs associated with production tools and fabrication facilities have slowed NAND bit growth rate from 70-80 percent to 25-30 percent annually.

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