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Canadian startup launches fuse-memory

Posted by iMark - 2005-11-22

Sidense Corp., a startup formed by Polish engineers, has said it has developed a fuse-based one-time programmable non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) core targeted at a standard logic CMOS manufacturing process.

Sidense (Kanata, Ontario, Canada) did not disclose on its website the underlying fusing technology but claims no additional programming voltages are required and that no charge storage is required for data retention in excess of ten years duration. The company said its design does not require any additional masks or process steps, and utilizes only one transistor as a memory cell positioning it as a leader in area efficient NVM IP core solutions. Although the memory element is one-time-programmable fuse it is possible to emulate multi-programmability through movable addressing. The IP is offered as a series of hard macros supporting different configurations and targeted towards different foundries’ processes with supporting documentation, test benches and design files, the company said. Sidense calls its technology “1T-Fuse” and said the structure has been proven in silicon at 130-nm and can be ported to 90-nm, 65-nm and below.

The company did not say which foundry had proved the silicon for Sidense or which foundries would be targeted with its products. The company’s first product is called SiFuse, a field-programmable non-volatile memory of up to 1-kbyte in size. Potential applications include fuse and flash memory replacement, code storage, RFID, unique ID, encryption, key storage and in digital rights management.

“Most of our competitors are either using larger structures which require change to the process or use technologies that are not easily scalable to 90-nm and below. We have designed one-time-programmable, non-volatile memory macros that are very small and faster then other solutions on the market,” said Xerxes Wania, president and CEO of Sidense, in a statement. “Our 1T-Fuse memory is extremely secure and very difficult to reverse engineer, if not impossible. This makes it ideal for secure code storage applications such as encryption keys.”

Sidense was founded in 2004 by Wlodek Kurjanowicz, who serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Kurjanowicz has held key technical positions at Mosys Inc., Atmos Corp. Chipworks Inc. and Semiconductor Insights after serving for many years in IC design and IC technology management positions at semiconductor plant in Poland. Tomasz Wojcicki, is vice president of engineering and Wania was recruited to lead the company after serving at Synopsys Inc., as director of mixed-signal marketing.

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