Panasonic Corp announced that it is planning to start volume production of its ReRAM (resistance random access memory) in 2012.

Panasonic intends to use the memory as embedded memory of microcomputers and target them at battery-driven devices such as residential fire-alarm devices for a starter. The company plans to start shipping the sample of ReRAM with a capacity of about 2 Mbit at the end of 2011. And the volume production will start at the Tonami Plant (Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture), which is the company's production base for microcomputers, discrete semiconductors, image sensors, etc.

The development race for ReRAM has been increasing because it is drawing attention as a storage class memory that combines the large capacity of flash memory and the high speed of DRAM. If Panasonic starts volume production in 2012 as it planning, it will probably become the first company that commercializes ReRAM.

Panasonic is probably expecting to replace flash memory used as embedded memory of microcomputers with ReRAM in the aim of reducing power consumption and extending the battery lives of battery-driven devices. And it might use its semiconductor products embedded with ReRAM for digital consumer electronics such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc recorders, etc, the company said.

In regard to ReRAM, Panasonic made an announcement about its memory element technology using a TaOx-based material at the 2008 IEDM (International Electron Devices Meeting), an international conference on semiconductor devices, which took place in December 2008. At that time, the company announced, for example, the evaluation results of its 8-kbit test array made by using 180nm CMOS process.