OTC News Archive

Nano-Proprietary signs agreement with The University of Texas at Austin to develop next-generation memory chip

Nanotechwire
February 9, 2005

Austin, Texas-based Nano-Proprietary, Inc., through its subsidiary, Applied Nanotech, Inc. (ANI), today announced that it has signed an exclusive licensing option agreement with The University of Texas at Austin. The agreement will further the development of a next generation memory chip utilizing the university’s information storage technology based on thin photo-conductive films.

The ultimate goal is to make a low cost memory device with a capacity of a terabit on an area of a square inch. Imagine a handheld device storing 50 times more information than high-performance desktop PCs produced today.

At the same time, this memory device is non-volatile, meaning stored information maintains integrity even when the power supply is shut off. Your computer will boot up instantly when you turn it on without waiting to load your operating system.

This science behind the concept was developed in the laboratory of Allen J. Bard, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory of Electrochemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The licensing option agreement is for eighteen months starting January 4, 2005 and provides Applied Nanotech with the time needed to design, fabricate, optimize and evaluate a 10,000 bit demonstration opto-electronic memory chip using the thin photo-conductive films of single layer composition developed in Bard’s lab. The films are made of zinc octakis (beta-decoxyethyl) porphyrin, which shows fast write-read-erase capabilities.

At this time the technology is not developed enough for memory device manufacturers to understand whether this technology can work. If Applied Nanotech can successfully produce this 10,000-bit proof-of-concept device, that will change. At that stage memory device manufacturers should be eager to get their hands on this technology. “We’re pleased that Zvi Yaniv and his team at Applied Nanotech are partnering with UT to move Allen Bard’s research from the lab to a proof of concept that can be understood and valued by industry,” said Dr. Neil Iscoe, director of the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

According to an August 2004 report released by NanoMarkets, a nanotechnology analyst group, nanotechnology will have a serious impact and immediate contribution to memory and storage devices. There is an imminent need for next-generation non-volatile memory chip for the new computing paradigm expected to come into play over the next decade. It is expected that the market for nanostorage devices will reach beyond $65 billion by 2011.

“We believe that the licensed technology combined with existing nano-printing processes has the potential to provide a solution to the elusive one-terabit memory chip on an area of approximately one square inch,” said Dr. Zvi Yaniv, chief executive of Applied Nanotech. “The memory device we are developing has the potential to be disruptive for the disk drive industry because the performance of the disc drives and memory chips becomes comparable.”

At the end of the 18-month option, the company can negotiate an exclusive license for the technology, with the right to sublicense it, from The University of Texas System Board of Regents within parameters already defined.

“We are thrilled to be working with a world-class research university such as UT,” Yaniv said. “By executing this licensing and development agreement, we are joining the industry leaders working to develop and introduce to the market high capacity low cost memory chips.”

“Following our strategy and dominant position in the field of carbon nanotubes, we are in the process of identifying nanotechnology applications for other substantial markets such as memory and storage devices,” said Marc Eller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nano-Proprietary, Inc. “This market is a natural extension of our capabilities because a number of key processes used in this technology are very similar to the ones used in our carbon nanotube displays.”