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Jean-Pierre Braun (CEO)
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Crocus Technology, founded in 2004, is a venture-capital-backed semiconductor startup company developing next generation MRAM technology. Originating in Grenoble, France, Crocus began with an initial grant from CEA and CNRS, leading French research centers, and now has operations both in Grenoble, France, and in Silicon Valley in California. Crocus’ MRAM technology was originally developed at the Spintec laboratory, a part of CEA, in Grenoble, France, and has since been exclusively licensed to and further developed and productized by Crocus.
Crocus plans to enter the market as a supplier of semiconductor memory chips, and as a licensor of MRAM process and design technology to fabless semiconductor companies, wafer foundries, and integrated device manufacturers (IDM’s). Target applications include storage, telecommunications, mobile devices, and networking.
Crocus pioneered the application of Thermal Assisted Switching (TAS) to scalable MRAM technology. While current MRAM technologies have encountered problems with write selectivity, power consumption and thermal stability, Thermal Assisted Switching offers the promise of solving those problems mainly through temperature manipulation of the magnetic susceptibility in the memory cell. The company is working to merge TAS technology with advanced Spin Torque Transfer (STT) technology for use with advanced feature-size semiconductor processes.
The company has a strong intellectual property position with approximately 30 patents supporting the product and technology portfolio. Crocus also has a long-term exclusive license to MRAM-related intellectual property developed at Spintec, CNRS, and CEA.
On June 18, 2009, Crocus Technology announced a partnership with Tower Semiconductor, Ltd., a leading global specialty foundry. As part of the deal, both companies will dedicate special equipment in Tower’s factory, and Tower will fully manufacture Crocus’ MRAM technology in its 200mm Fab2 facility. Tower has also taken a $1.25 million equity position in Crocus.
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