The investment arms of Dell, Cisco and Kingston Technology are part of the latest investors in Nantero Inc., a company developing next-generation memory using carbon nanotubes.
Nantero’s NRAM is purported to have DRAM-like speed but with the non-volatility of flash and produced at low cost suitable for a wide range of applications. The company is currently under development with three products: a multi-gigabyte, DDR4-compatible, non-volatile, standalone memory product with speed comparable to DRAM but at a lower price per GB; a standalone chip designed as a cache for solid state drives (SSDs) or hard disk drives (HDDs) that removes the need for battery backup and allows for the expansion of cache side, speeding up the drive; and embedded memory offerings including a highly scalable, embedded, non-volatile memory that can scale to 5 nm in size and operate at DRAM-like speeds and operates at high temperatures suitable for automotive applications or the internet of things (IoT).
Nantero’s recent funding round was worth a total of $29.7 million from Dell, Cisco and Kingston, as well as CFT Capital, China’s semiconductor investment firm, Schlumberger, a technology provider for the oil and gas industry and three strategic investors not disclosed.
Nantero says the funding will enable the company to support customers currently bringing multiple products into the market, while also enabling new customers to begin development. Nantero’s total investment to date is more than $120 million.
Nantero has more than a dozen partners and customers in the consumer electronics, enterprise systems and semiconductor industries. Fujitsu Semiconductor and Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor plan to bring NRAM to market in 2019, followed by other companies.