Matrix Semiconductor – the first company to commercialise low-cost, high-density 3-D integrated circuits – announced yesterday that Nintendo has invested $15 million in the company, bringing financing in the company to $95 million.
‘Matrix has always focused on securing relationships with the world’s leading consumer electronics companies. These relationships provide countless benefits to the company in addition to dollars,’ said Dan Steere, Vice President of Marketing for Matrix Semiconductor. ‘We recognize Nintendo’s dominant position in electronic entertainment and feel very fortunate to have them as an investor in Matrix.’
Existing integrated circuits are built using active devices within a single layer of silicon. Additional layers above the substrate are used for wiring and structural strength.
Matrix has developed and patented the technology to build 3-dimensional memory by stacking memory arrays vertically. Matrix 3-D Memory’s array structure results in an archival storage device capable of storing data for more than 100 years. Matrix’s memory is manufactured in a standard CMOS fab, using existing semiconductor materials and production equipment.
By stacking memory elements vertically, Matrix is said to use a smaller die area for a given density than traditional DRAM, SRAM, flash, and Mask ROM. By decreasing the chip size and increasing the yield, Matrix 3-D Memory can be produced at a lower cost compared to existing technologies.
Matrix’s first product, Matrix 3-D Memory (3DM), is a low cost, high density, non-volatile memory compatible with existing standards and targeted for use in a host of portable electronic devices.
‘The portable and mobile device markets are expanding rapidly. Matrix’s cost and density advantages over existing technologies support the memory requirements of our portable video game machine, Game Boy Advance,’ said Yasuhiro Minagawa, Manager of Public Relations Section at Nintendo’s headquarters in Japan. ‘We believe Matrix’s technology will help us to make our exciting game titles more efficiently.’