Emerging Non-Volatile Memories patent landscape 2014

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The integration limit of flash memories is approaching, and emerging Non-Volatile Memories (eNVM) to replace conventional Flash Memories have been proposed. Ferroelectric RAMs (FeRAMs), Magnetoresistive RAMs (MRAMs), Resistive-change RAMs (ReRAMs) or Phase-Change Random-Access Memories (PCRAMs) are promising to change the memory landscape. The field of eNVM has shown an intensive patenting activity since early 1990s, with a substantial increase during the past decade. Currently, there are more than 8,600 relevant patent families filed all over the world. Patent families were filed by more than 800 patent applicants mainly located in USA, Japan, Taiwan and China. From a quantitative point of view, the most active companies are SK Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron Technology and IBM. In addition, startup firms do not file many patents and their main strategy is to license or sell their intellectual property. The patents related to MRAM technology account for more than 40% of filings. The main patent applicants are Toshiba, Samsung and Renesas Electronics which represent together almost 30% of the patents. The MRAM technology was growing between 2003-2007 with more than 50% of patents published during these years. Currently, the number of patents filed has remained stable, with about 200 patents filed per year. About 30% of patent families are related to PCRAM technology. They were mainly filed by SK Hynix and Samsung, they represent almost 40% of published patents. The PCRAM technology was increasing between 2002 and 2009, with more than 450 patent families published in 2009. Publication patents is decreasing these last 4 years, however more than 200 patents are still published every year. Patent filings will continue on PCRAM technology to further improve memory applications. The patents dedicated to FeRAM technology represent 20% of filings. They were mainly filed by SK Hynix, Samsung and Seiko Epson which represent almost 50% of published patents. FeRAM is a mature technology, and FeRAM is not an active patent field yet. Patents related to ReRAM technology account for almost 10% of new patent filings. ReRAM is the newest patented technology and the number of patent publications will continue to increase in the coming years. With over 100 patent families already filed, Samsung will play a significant role in this emerging technology development. Several players are focusing on all types of memories, alone or by joint developments. An overview is given for more than 50 companies. A focus is also realized on main 10 players (SK Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron Technology, IBM…) to summarize all the data set, such as key patents, expiring patents, acquisitions, joint developments and key industrial applications for each eNVM.
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  • 1. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories Patent Landscape February 2014 IBM University of Houston IBM Integrated Magneto Electronics 2405 route des Dolines 06902 Sophia Antipolis, France www.knowmade.com Macronix IBM SanDisk
  • 2. Scope of the Report • This report provides a detailed picture of the patent landscape for emerging Non Volatile Memories (eNVM). This includes statistical analysis by memory, by type (material composition, cell architecture…) and key players. • Over the more than 10,000 patent families identified for this project, 8,661 relevant patent families to the scope of this report have been analyzed. These 8,661 patent families have been segmented as follow: Memory Type FeRAM MRAM ReRAM PCRAM Patent Type Patent Type Patent Type Patent Type •Material •Process •Cell Structure •Programming •Material •Process •Cell Structure •Programming •Material •Process •Cell Structure •Programming •Material •Process •Cell Structure •Programming Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 3. Key Features of the Report • This report provides for each emerging nonvolatile memory in-depth analysis of key technology segments and key players including: - Time evolution of patent publications, priority and publication countries - Breakdown of publication countries for top players - Legal status of patents - Ranking of main patent assignees for both industry and academic players - Identification of main joint developments between main patent assignees - Overview of key patents and collaboration networks between assignees - Expiring granted patents with approaching date - Overview of eNVM related patent litigations - Relative strength of each company IP portfolio • A matrix is provided on type of eNVM memories for more than 50 companies. • The “eNVM IP” profiles of 10 companies are presented, with key patents, litigations, licenses, partnerships and acquisitions. • The report also provides an extensive Excel database with the 8,661 patent families taken into account in this study. This database allows multi-criteria searches. Patent information: Patent number, Hyperlink to original document, Priority date, Title, Abstract, Applicants, Legal Status. Memory Type Segments: FeRAM, MRAM, ReRAM, PCRAM. Patent Type Segments: Material, Process, Cell structure, Programming. Disclaimer: Knowmade is a research firm that provides technical analysis and technical opinions. Knowmade is not a law firm. The research, technical analysis and/or work proposed or provided by Knowmade and contained herein is not a legal opinion and should not be construed as such. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 4. Methodology • The data was extracted from the FamPat worldwide database (Questel-ORBIT) which provides 80+ million patent documents from 95 offices. • The search for patent was performed in October 2013 hence patents published after this date will not be available in this deliverable. • The selection of the patents has been done both automatically and manually (all details in next slides). Number of selected patent families for the emerging NVM IP Investigation: 8,661 over a number of returned results > 10,000 • The statistical analysis was performed with INTELLIXIR analysis software. • The patents were categorized using keyword analysis of patent title, abstract and claims, in conjunction with expert review of the subject-matter of inventions (all details in next slides). • The patents were grouped according FamPat’s family rules (variation of EPO strict family): A Patent Family comprises patents linked by exactly same priority numbers (strict family), plus comparison of priority and application numbers, specific rules by country and information gathered from other sources (national files, legal status …). Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 5. Methodology for Patent Screening, Classification and Analysis Phase I Keywords and term-set definition Search equations / Search strategy Phase II Patent screening Fine search using IPC classes and citations analysis Patent classification Technological Segmentation Related Relevant Non relevant Phase III Patent Landscape Segmentation improvement during IP Landscape Landscape Overview Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. In-depth analysis on Key Technology Segments and Key Players Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014 Patent Ranking and Key Patents analysis
  • 6. Table of Contents Scope Of the Report Key Features of the Report Terminology for Patent Analysis Methodology Types of Memories Search Strategy and Patent Screening Technological Segmentation Executive Summary p4 p5 p6 p8 p10 p11 p12 p13 I - IP Landscape Overview •Time Evolution of Patent Publication •Technology Breakdown of Patent Filing p.16 II – Analysis of Technology Segments p.19 •Segmentation by Type of Patent •Main IPC Classes •Main Reference Patents •Expiration of Granted Patents •Litigations •Summary of Main Assignee Patent Portfolio •Strength of Main Assignee Patent Portfolio III – Summary of Assignee Portfolio •Matrix Applicant/Memory Type •Focus On Key Players For all of them : Portfolio summary, key patents, collaborations, litigations and licenses, granted patents near expiration. p.104 p.105 p.107 IIa – FeRAM p.20 SK Hynix p.108 IIb – MRAM p.41 Samsung (+Grandis) P.109 IIc – ReRAM p.61 Toshiba p.110 IId – PCRAM p.83 SanDisk p.111 Micron Technology (+Numonyx +Elpida Memory) p.112 IBM p.113 Infineon Technologies p.114 Macronix International p.115 Everspin Technologies p.116 Cypress Semiconductor (+Ramtron International) p.117 For each memory type: •Technology Description •Time Evolution of Patent Publications •Main Patent Assignees Ranking •Main Joint Developments •Time Evolution of Top-15 Patent Assignees •Publication Countries of Top-15 Patent Assignees •Geographic Breakdown of Patent Filings •Current Legal Status of Patents •Patent Assignee IP Network Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. •Discussion Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014 p.118
  • 7. Executive Summary The integration limit of flash memories is approaching, and emerging Non-Volatile Memories (eNVM) to replace conventional Flash Memories have been proposed. Ferroelectric RAMs (FeRAMs), Magnetoresistive RAMs (MRAMs), Resistive-change RAMs (ReRAMs) or Phase-Change Random-Access Memories (PCRAMs) are promising to change the memory landscape. The field of eNVM has shown an intensive patenting activity since early 1990s, with a substantial increase during the past decade. Currently, there are more than 8,600 relevant patent families filed all over the world. Patent families were filed by more than 800 patent applicants mainly located in USA, Japan, Taiwan and China. From a quantitative point of view, the most active companies are SK Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron Technology and IBM. In addition, startup firms do not file many patents and their main strategy is to license or sell their intellectual property. The patents related to MRAM technology account for more than 40% of filings. The main patent applicants are Toshiba, Samsung and Renesas Electronics which represent together almost 30% of the patents. The MRAM technology was growing between 2003-2007 with more than 50% of patents published during these years. Currently, the number of patents filed has remained stable, with about 200 patents filed per year. About 30% of patent families are related to PCRAM technology. They were mainly filed by SK Hynix and Samsung, they represent almost 40% of published patents. The PCRAM technology was increasing between 2002 and 2009, with more than 450 patent families published in 2009. Publication patents is decreasing these last 4 years, however more than 200 patents are still published every year. Patent filings will continue on PCRAM technology to further improve memory applications. The patents dedicated to FeRAM technology represent 20% of filings. They were mainly filed by SK Hynix, Samsung and Seiko Epson which represent almost 50% of published patents. FeRAM is a mature technology, and FeRAM is not an active patent field yet. Patents related to ReRAM technology account for almost 10% of new patent filings. ReRAM is the newest patented technology and the number of patent publications will continue to increase in the coming years. With over 100 patent families already filed, Samsung will play a significant role in this emerging technology development. Several players are focusing on all types of memories, alone or by joint developments. An overview is given for more than 50 companies. A focus is also realized on main 10 players (SK Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron Technology, IBM…) to summarize all the data set, such as key patents, expiring patents, acquisitions, joint developments and key industrial applications for each eNVM. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 8. Companies Mentioned in this Report Adesto Technologies, Altis Semiconductor, Avalanche Technology, Beijing University, Crocus Technology, Crossbar, Cypress Semiconductor, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Elpida Memory, Energy Conversion Devices, Everspin Technologies, Freescale Semiconductor, Fudan University, Fujitsu, Grandis, Hanyang University, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Infineon Technologies, Institute of Microelectronics (CAS), Intel, Intermolecular, Macronix International, Magic Technology, Micron Technology, Motorola, Nanya Technology, NEC, New York University, Oki Electric Industry, Olympus, Ovonyx, Panasonic, Powerchip, Promos Technologies, Qimonda, Qualcomm, Rambus, Ramtron International, Renesas Electronics, Rohm, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate Technology, Seiko Epson, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), Shanghai Institute (CAS), Sharp, SK Hynix, Sony, Spansion, Spin Transfer Technologies, STMicroelectronics, Symetrix, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), TDK, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Unity Semiconductor, Winbond Electronics Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 9. Type of Memories Emerging Memories Established Memories MRAM ReRAM (or RRAM) PCRAM (or PRAM, PCM) DRAM Flash NAND YES YES YES YES NO YES Endurance High (1012) High (1015) Medium (108) Medium (108) High (1015) Low (105) 2012 latest technological node produced (nm) 130 nm 130 nm R&D 45 nm 30 nm 20 nm Cell Size (cell size in F2) Large (15-20) Large/Medium (6-40) Medium (6-12) Medium (6-12) Small (6-10) Very small (4) Write speed Medium (100ns) High (10 ns) Medium (75 ns) Medium (75 ns) High (10ns) Low (10 000 ns) Power Consumption Low High/Low Low Low Low Very High Cost ($/Gb) High ($ 10 000/Gb) High ($ 1000 – 100 /Gb) R&D Medium (few $/ Gb) Low ($1/Gb) Very Low ($ 0.1/Gb) FeRAM (or FRAM) Nonvolatile From Yole Dévelopment « Emerging NVM » 2013 Report PCRAM is part of Resistive Memories. We made the choice here to separate this memory from ReRAM due to the large number of patents in PCRAM technology. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 10. No. of Patent Families Time Evolution of Patent Publications 900 850 800 750 700 650 600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 ReRAM KnowMade© 2014 68 MRAM 16 PCRAM IBM US3761896 (ReRAM) Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) Ovonyx EP0495494 (PCRAM) Infineon Technologies Ramtron International US4713157 (FeRAM) 1 2 2 2 1 Note Patents published until October 2013 1 7 24 106 261 FeRAM 117 4 290 295 459 IBM US5343422 (MRAM) 242 230 115 427 156 2 334 3 28 47 2 71 15 233 458 222 1 8 57 61 81 266 271 356 39 63 97 155 209 370 284 273 1 145 9 25 161 163 127 1 2 1 137 127 147 140 103 98 66 88 1 21 1 54 46 33 19 26 20 18 54 15 13 Earliest publication year of each patent family 8,661 patent families were published from 1973 to 2013 in emerging NVM technology, and 38% of them were published these last 5 years. The publication number of ReRAM patents is still increasing with more than 100 patents published every year these last 4 years. With the first patent published by IBM in 1994, the number of MRAM patent publications were maximum between 2003 and 2007 with a relative steady number of publications since 2010. The number of PCRAM patent publications, with first patent (on electrically programming memory) published by ECD and Ovonyx in 1992, is higher than 250 every year since 2006, with the highest number in 2009 (458). Most of FeRAM patents were published between 1999 and 2007 with a number of patent publications decreasing since 2008. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 11. Patent Assignee IP Network FeRAM Main assignee collaboration network for patent families There are only few co-assigned patent families related to FeRAM technology. Toshiba and Infineon Technologies jointly developed FeRAM for cell phones in 2000. Qimonda is a spin-off of Infineon Technologies (spin-off of Siemens since 1999) since 2006. In 2006, Qimonda acquired more than 40 patents (mostly US) of Infineon Technologies on FeRAM technology. Toshiba co-holds some patents with Infineon Technologies or Qimonda. Note that Renesas Electronics is the merger of Renesas Technology (Joint Venture of Hitachi and Mitsubishi in 2003) and NEC Electronics (2002 spin-off of NEC) in 2010. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 12. Main Reference Patents FeRAM Main reference patents for FeRAM and corresponding main citing applicants The selection of reference patents is based on both citations analysis and their impact on FeRAM technology. SYMETRIX PANASONIC NANYA TECHNOLOGY NEC SHARP FUJITSU TOSHIBA MICRON TECHNOLOGY TEXAS INSTRUMENTS CYPRESS SEMICONDUCTOR SYMETRIX COLUMBINE VENTURE FUND CROSSPOINT VENTURE II LOCKHEED NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR RAMTRON INTERNATIONAL1 OSCCO III SILICON VALLEY BANK WEEDEN CAPITAL US4888733 US5046043 1987 1988 RAMTRON INTERNATIONAL1 SILICON VALLEY BANK EP0278167 SK HYNIX PANASONIC TOSHIBA 1Acquired OLYMPUS SYMETRIX JPH07111318 1992 1993 INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES RAMTRON INTERNATIONAL1 US5191510 TEXAS INSTRUMENTS ROHM MICRON TECHNOLOGY INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES MICRON TECHNOLOGY QIMONDA NEC STMICROELECTRONICS SYMETRIX STMICROELECTRONICS FUJIFILM ZETTACORE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY MATERIALS FELLOWS RESEARCH ALLIANCE WO9927581 1996 SEIKO EPSON EP1589566 1997 TOSHIBA CITIBANK JPH10275897 FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR KnowMade© 2014 MOTOROLA JPH09246497 MICRON TECHNOLOGY TOSHIBA FUJITSU by Cypress Semiconductor in 2012 Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. 2005 Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014 SK HYNIX WO2007028150 Earliest publication date of the patent family 2006 FUJITSU WO2007116442 2008 KIM JUHAN US2010097839 SEIKO EPSON TEXAS INSTRUMENTS
  • 13. Main Patent Assignees Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014 MRAM
  • 14. Strength of Main Assignee Patent Portfolios A Assignee No. of patent families B C MRAM D No. of citing No. of citing patent No. of citing patent patent families / families families / year patent family (from FamPat database) (average) =B/A E F Relative Impact Strength of the Factor of the patent families patent portfolio =AxE = D / 2.7* Company A [JP] 512 3179 190.7 6.2 2.3 1164 Company B [KR] 298 2002 129.2 6.7 2.5 733 Company C [JP] 237 1369 101.4 5.8 2.1 501 Company D [JP] 184 879 45.3 4.8 1.7 322 Company E [JP] 182 961 65.5 5.3 1.9 352 Company F [US] 158 1189 73.5 7.5 2.8 435 Company G [US] 154 1743 112.5 11.3 4.1 638 Company H [DE] 148 1305 85.1 8.8 3.2 478 Company I [US] 135 2050 113.4 15.0 5.5 750 Company J [DE] 129 1075 70.1 8.3 3.1 393 Company K [US] 129 1888 104.4 14.6 5.4 691 *9,674 patent families cite the whole of the 3,542 patent families taken into account for the study, then corresponding to an average of 2.7 citing patent families per patent family. : highest value in column : lowest value in column Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 15. Matrix Applicant/Memory Type FeRAM PATENT APPLICANTS MRAM ReRAM PCRAM Portfolio Strength Index* No of Patent Families 47 Portfolio Strength Index* 11 No of Patent Families Portfolio Strength Index* No of Patent Families Company A [KR] 489 266 125 Company B [KR] 163 281 298 733 108 127 Company C [JP] 93 179 Company D [US] 9 513 1164 25 14 158 435 24 Company E [DE] 50 148 478 50 Company F [JP] Company G [US] 23 237 501 2 47 9 124 8 126 Company H [DE] 70 129 393 29 34 262 Company I [JP] 36 182 352 5 10 233 Company J [JP] 38 184 322 6 1 229 Company K [TW] 1 59 21 112 128 193 Company L [TW] 6 16 23 146 401 191 Company M [JP] 89 12 0 176 Company N [US] 1 4 1 160 Company O [JP] 153 2 3 0 158 Company P [JP] Company Q [US] Company R [CN] 38 5 1 68 137 0 750 1 4 5 46 5 125 153 151 131 Company S [US] 0 129 691 0 0 Company T [US] 0 0 0 118 Company U [CN] 4 11 8 Company V [FR] 8 18 0 Company W [JP] 52 15 34 0 101 Company X [TW] 1 73 4 20 98 Company Y [US] 0 2 0 85 Company Z [TW] 0 87 0 0 87 Company AA [US] 2 48 27 2 79 68 119 110 75 154 115 129 638 487 1038 No of Patent Families 17 1172 1054 645 163 80 65 676 354 84 357 330 309 270 3 267 129 43 Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014 118 1 107 75 131 960 84 * Portfolio Strength Index is only available for main patent assignees in each memory type segment. Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. 537 Portfolio Strength Index* 242 Total No of Patent Families 284 101 549 87
  • 16. Samsung - Patent Portfolio Analysis Samsung Electronics – Samsung Electro Mechanics - Grandis (Acquisition in 2011) Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 17. Other Sample Pages Copyrights © KnowMade SARL. All rights reserved. Emerging Non-Volatile Memories - Patent Landscape – February 2014
  • 18. The Authors Dr Audrey Bastard works for Knowmade in the field of Microelectronics and Nanotechnology. She holds a PhD in Physics from National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble, France in collaboration with STMicroelectronics, CEALeti and CEMES Toulouse. She also holds a Materials Engineering Degree from the Superior Engineering School of Luminy, Marseille, France. Dr Nicolas Baron is CEO and co-founder of Knowmade. He is leading the Microelectonics and Nanotechnology scientific and patent analysis department. He holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Nice SophiaAntipolis, plus a University Diploma in Intellectual Property Strategy and Innovation from the European Institute for Enterprise and Intellectual Property (IEEPI Strasbourg), France. About Knowmade Knowmade is specialized in analysis of patents and scientific research findings. We provide patent search, IP landscape, patent valuation, IP due diligence, FTO search, scientific literature landscape, identification of technologies available for transfer/licensing/sale, alerts and updates. Our service offer consists of custom studies, analysis reports, on-demand tracking and strategy consulting. Knowmade combines information search services, scientific expertise, powerful analytics and visualization tools, and proprietary methodologies for analyzing patents and scientific information. With a solid focus on Compound Semiconductors, LED, MEMS, Nanotechnology an
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