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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Nantero: One Step Closer from Lab to Fab

For the second consecutive day, one of nanotechnology’s most promising companies has announced a very sizeable funding round. Today, Nantero, announced that it received a third round (Series C) investment totaling $15.5 million. (Institutional investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Harris & Harris, Stata Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.) The news suggests that Nantero is yet one step closer to a commercial product.

The Woburn, MA-based company is working with carbon nanotubes to develop non-volatile random access memory (NRAM)—a portable memory chip with low power consumption, high storage density and high speed to compete with the other forms of memory (Static RAM, Dynamic RAM and flash memory).

Nantero has already successfully demonstrated that it can properly align over 10 billion CNTs on a single wafer. It is also claims that its technology has been incorporated into a standard semiconductor production line; which, if true, would mean that major chip manufacturers would not have to alter their production processes—a big plus. If the company’s technology is successful (LSI Logic is reportedly testing it), it could replace all existing forms of memory and lead to more capable laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices, as well as “instant-on” computers. The market for such a technology could be substantial—some estimates range as high as $100 billion.

Nantero executives have stated that the company will have a product by mid-2005. If its tests with LSI Logic prove successful, look for other major semiconductor manufacturers like IBM, Motorola and Infineon to enter into licensing agreements with Nantero. Recently, the company also announced a partnership with BAE System, a major aerospace manufacturer. The partnership could signal Nantero’s move into a new field—that of employing CNT to combat the effects of radiation.

Although it is a private corporation, nanotech investors should definitely put the company on their radar screen.

Jack Uldrich

Contact Information

Nantero, Inc.
25-D Olympia Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 203-656-0833
CEO: Greg Schmergel
Web: www.nantero.com