First commercial deal to take Weebit’s ReRAM technology to volume production, successful demonstration of ReRAM technology at 28nm, expanded development partnership with CEA-Leti
October 29, 2021 – Weebit Nano Ltd (ASX: WBT, Weebit or Company) is pleased to provide this activities report for the quarter ended 30 September 2021 (Q1 FY22), along with the Company’s Appendix 4C cash flow report.
Commenting on Q1 FY22, Weebit Nano CEO Coby Hanoch said:
“Weebit Nano has had a strong start to FY22, delivering its most successful quarter with significant progress on both commercial and technical fronts. We secured our first commercial deal and successfully demonstrated our ReRAM technology at 28nm. We are now at an exciting junction in the Company’s history, having signed our first licensing deal and significantly increasing the range of potential applications and industries for Weebit Nano’s cutting-edge memory technology.
“Our first commercial deal with SkyWater Technology Inc. (SkyWater) is a major milestone for the Company, providing commercial validation of our innovative technology and enabling us to bring Weebit Nano’s cutting-edge ReRAM technology to volume production. SkyWater is the ideal first partner for Weebit given their extensive customer base throughout the US defence, automotive, industrial, consumer and medical sectors, and their focus on innovative new technologies.
“Having a fab like SkyWater license our memory technology is a strong endorsement of Weebit Nano’s ReRAM technology. Our agreement with SkyWater has also accelerated discussions with other fabs and potential customers.
“The availability of our ReRAM technology at 28nm is the first step towards scaling to the most advanced nodes required for leading-edge applications such as AI and 5G. 28nm is one of the most popular geometries today and has been referred to as ‘the sweet spot for embedded memory applications’1 by Mark Liu, the Chairman of the world’s largest fab TSMC. Since existing embedded Flash technology cannot scale economically below 40nm, and the world is looking for robust non-volatile memory solutions in smaller geometries, this achievement will enable Weebit Nano to offer a highly competitive alternative embedded memory solution.”
First commercial deal with US-based SkyWater
Weebit secured its first commercial deal to take its ReRAM technology to volume production with semiconductor foundry SkyWater. The deal incorporates a technology transfer and qualification agreement, as well as a non-exclusive licensing agreement.
Weebit and SkyWater are working together to transfer and qualify Weebit’s ReRAM technology in SkyWater’s US production fab, with the goal of having the technology qualified by the end of calendar year 2022. The technology transfer process with SkyWater has now commenced.
Following qualification, SkyWater has a non-exclusive license to manufacture Weebit’s ReRAM technology in its fab. SkyWater will add Weebit’s qualified memory module, as well as additional modules that will be developed over time, to its 130nm Process Design Kit, so that SkyWater customers who license Weebit’s technology will be able to embed it within new product designs they develop and mass-produce at SkyWater’s fab.
Excellent results of Weebit’s ReRAM technology at 28nm
Weebit and development partner CEA-Leti demonstrated excellent results of Weebit’s ReRAM technology at 28nm on 300mm wafers – a key step towards productisation of embedded Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) for AI, autonomous driving, 5G and advanced IoT.
Testing with CEA-Leti on Weebit’s one-transistor-one-resistor (1T1R) arrays embedded in 28nm Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FDSOI), one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing techniques, showed very good endurance and data retention alongside other production-level parameters.
The 28nm geometry is very popular and widely used in a range of advanced embedded applications. Existing embedded Flash technology has scaling challenges below 40nm and is not a viable option in these geometries. Weebit’s ability to support smaller geometries expands its range of potential industries and applications for its embedded ReRAM technology as embedded Flash memory reaches its limits.
Expanded strategic development partnership with CEA-Leti
Weebit expanded its ongoing strategic partnership with French research institute CEA-Leti in Q1 FY22, signing a new agreement to broaden the scope of the IP co-operation between the two companies. Under the new agreement, Weebit is licensing additional IP from CEA-Leti to continue to improve the endurance, retention and robustness of its ReRAM technology. The integration of CEA-Leti’s IP has improved Weebit’s array-level endurance by an order of magnitude while data retention increased 2x compared to previous results under the same conditions.
These improvements enable Weebit to address new high-volume markets such as automotive and smart cards that require high-temperature reliability up to 175°C and high-temperature compatibility for wafer level packaging.
“Our successful development partnership with CEA-Leti has enabled us to achieve key technical milestones much faster than competitors. Our expanded strategic partnership agreement leverages CEA-Leti’s extensive memory research and know-how to further enhance the technical parameters of Weebit’s cutting-edge ReRAM technology. It also supports Weebit’s commercialisation activities, increases our target market, and ensures we continue to develop innovative future memory solutions across the embedded, discrete and neuromorphic sectors,” Mr Hanoch said.
Filed new patent optimising ReRAM power consumption
During the quarter, Weebit filed a new patent outlining a process to optimise ReRAM cells for power consumption.
Summary of Q1 FY22 cashflows
During the quarter, Weebit Nano received $859K through the exercising of options. This brings the number of not-yet exercised listed options with an exercise price of 45 cents per share to 34,630,967 as of 30 September 2021.
Notable operating cash flow items over the quarter included research and development expenses of $2 million. Payments to related parties over Q1 FY22 were $187K, which included fees paid to directors and the CEO’s cost of payroll for the period.
Weebit plans to achieve the following milestones by the end of CY22:
- Complete the transfer of its embedded ReRAM technology to SkyWater’s US production fab
- Run the qualification process at SkyWater
- Provide functional test results of its embedded ReRAM module
- Sign new licensing agreements with customers.
Continued development of a solution for the discrete memory market is another key technical priority.
“Weebit Nano has made significant inroads on its path to productisation and commercialisation of our next-generation memory technology. Our agreement with SkyWater will take Weebit Nano’s embedded memory technology to volume production, and we are already connecting potential customers with SkyWater. We are now very focused on actively introducing our technology to potential customers and finding the right ones to engage with on actual products that will use our ReRAM,” said Mr. Hanoch.
Investor briefing details
Coby Hanoch (CEO) will participate in Market Eye’s “Meet the CEO” event at 3:00pm AEDT on Friday, 29 October 2021. Following the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.
To attend the webinar, please pre-register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YTCK-v0PStm4fI7GIiViEw
Upcoming investor events
Coby Hanoch will present at the following upcoming investment conferences:
- 11 November 2021: Market Eye TechOpps 2021 conference
- 17 November 2021: Macquarie Emerging Leaders conference
- 30 November 2021: Pitt Street Research conference.
About Weebit Nano Limited
Weebit Nano Ltd. is a leading developer of next-generation semiconductor memory technology. The company’s ground-breaking Resistive RAM (ReRAM) addresses the growing need for significantly higher performance and lower power memory solutions in a range of new electronic products such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartphones, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G communications and artificial intelligence.
Weebit’s ReRAM allows semiconductor memory elements to be significantly faster, less expensive, more reliable and more energy efficient than those using existing Flash memory solutions. Because it is based on fab-friendly materials, the technology can be quickly and easily integrated with existing flows and processes, without the need for special equipment or large investments.
1 Source: https://investor.tsmc.com/english/quarterly-results/2021/q2