Nantero Sells Business Unit to Keep Nanotube Memory Chip Alive

There have been incredulous rumblings recently about the status of Nanteroâ''s carbon nanotube-enabled alternative to flash memory, including some on the pages of Spectrum.

Part of the problem, as cited in the above article, is that it is difficult for a small start-up to take on the long and risky prospect of transforming the computer memory market.

â''A company like Nantero canâ''t take such long bets,â'' says G. Dan Hutcheson, chief executive of VLSI Research, a top semiconductor analysis company in Santa Clara, Calif., in the article.

Good point. How does a small company with fewer resources than the large companies it is competing with manage to get itself from here to there?

The answer had been providing solutions to others and charging $190 an hour for technical support, and relying on military R&D funds.

Well the latter may no longer be part of Nantero as Lockheed Martin and Nantero announced last month that Lockheed Martin acquired the government business unit of Nantero, Inc.

With approximately 30 of Nanteroâ''s employees now joining Lockheed Martin and the two companies reaching an exclusive license arrangement for government applications of Nanteroâ''s IP portfolio, some might argue that we have witnessed the fate of Nanteroâ''acquired by Lockheed Martin.

But apparently not. Greg Schmergel, Nanteroâ''s co-founder and CEO, is quoted as saying, â''This transaction provides Nantero with increased resources and strategic focus to achieve our goals in the commercial memory space."

It is heartening to know that we do not have to let go of our dream of seeing nanotube-enabled NRAM being available commercially in "two years".

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