The composition of the consortium has been defined with the purpose of covering the complete R&D chain, from the basic studies to the final industrial and scientific exploitation, as it is required by the characteristics of the project. A strong industrial consortium has been considered an essential qualifying element to guarantee both the achievement of the ambitious targets and above all the further exploitation of the developed technology.
In the original project structure the consortium has been build around two major European semiconductor companies, Numonyx and Qimonda which in 2008 were the only two companies in Europe, and among the few in the world, with a strong industrial position in the field of stand-alone memories. After Qimonda withdrawal the industrial consortium has been reshaped in order to enhance the possibility of success for the target of device cluster leaded by Numonyx.
Additional industrial partners provide strategically important elements for the success of the activity:
ASM in general is leader in the field of deposition equipment, especially for Atomic Layer Deposition Tools, and for high-k materials. It will provide the key competence for the development of the chemistry and deposition tools for the materials that will form the memory stack. The final manufacturability of the technology will depend critically on the quality of these materials.
Active Technologies is an SME with a long history of cooperation with both semiconductor manufacturers. It own a critical expertise in the development of testing and characterization tools optimised for large scale Non Volatile Memories. Developing tools specifically targeting NAND memories will be an important challenge for them
Jordan Valley is an SME with a past history of cooperation with STMicroelectronics and Qimonda in other European cooperation projects. It provides to the consortium a critical expertise in XRR technology for the measurement of very thin films, which will be a critical element for the manufacturing and control of the gate stack.