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US startup makes bid to capture memory market

Unity Semiconductor said it has secured more funding for a proprietary form of non-volatile memory which it claims will rattle the cages of its competition.

The firm has picked up $22 million from its major VC partners, August Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures. A major hard drive manufacturer is also an investor, but Unity isn’t giving away its name. So far it’s picked up $75 million in venture cash.

According to its CEO, Darrell Rinerson, Unity’s aim is to produce the smalles die size and the lowest manufacturing cost per bit for its marketplace, which includes all important high performance memory segments including SDDs, stand alone memory, embedded memory and a NAND flash successor.

It aims to strike a partnership with a third party to manufacture its technology, which it calls CMOx. CMox, the company claims will yield chips with four times the density and five to 10 times the write speed of NAND flash.

It owns 60 patents on its products, and has another 90 patent applications pending.

Rinerson said that it expects its first product to be out within two years, a 64-gigabit storage memory. It’s already been making 64 kilobit products for two years, 64 megabit products for one year, and the 64 gigabit products will tape out next year. Unity has 40 employees and is based in Silicon Valley. Rinerson himself has worked at both AMD and US memory company Micron.