FMC received $20 million in funding to further memory chip development

FMC received $20 million in funding to further memory chip development
Image: Ferroelectric Memory Company

Ferroelectric Memory Company (FMC), a German memory chip startup, recently announced it secured $20 million in Series B funding. Investment groups M Ventures and imec.xpand led the round, which also featured a contribution from semiconductor giant SK Hynix.

FMC said it would use its new capital infusion to expand its business and further develop its potentially revolutionary memory technology

What Makes FMC Special

FMC commenced operations in 2016 after being spun off from the Dresden University of Technology. The startup sought to mainstream the utilization of crystalline hafnium oxide (HfO2) in memory component production. The firm’s researchers found that HfO2, previously utilized as an insulator, could produce robust complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) non-volatile memory products.

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The company’s processing can create ferroelectric field-effect transistors (FinFET) and capacitors (FeCAP) that provide key advantages on existing production methodologies. Its offerings consume less energy, have greater performance, and are less expensive to fabricate than components made with older techniques.

The startup’s products also feature high-temperature stability and radiation resistance that lets them fulfill ruggedized applications.

FMC’s products could disrupt the NAND and DRAM centric memory sector because of their unique attributes and affordability.

FMC’s Next Steps

FMC explained it would use its new capital to break into the U.S. and Asian markets. It also intends to commercialize its ferroelectric memory technology. The firm noted its already forged partnerships with foundries and fabless semiconductor makers, so its cash injection will expedite the process.

CEO Ali Pourkeramati said FMC’s innovations could help 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) realize their full potential. He noted current generation memory technology lacks the speed and energy efficiency to enable their wide adoption. He argued that since ferroelectric components do not have those limitations, the technology could enable “product development for devices that are fast, durable, low power, and need high-density non-volatile memory.”

FMC has a solid strategy in place to bring its innovative memory solutions to the masses.

The company plans to offer clients its intellectual property (IP) in tiers, including device, process, and design. The firm expects 28nm planner CMOS using its FinFET memory to launch in the consumer market in 2023. After that, it wants to expand into the IoT, industrial, and automotive sectors.

Although startups traditionally hype up the world-shaking potential of their offerings with every new fundraising round, FMC could be an exception. Its technology looks genuinely pioneering, and its ability to attract interest from SK Hynix reinforces that perception. The firm is also wisely pursuing sectors with massive growth potential.

In other words, FMC’s ferroelectric memory could become an industry standard for certain digitalization applications within a few years.


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