updated 9/2/2010 4:21:42 AM ET 2010-09-02T08:21:42

DANBURY, Conn., Sept. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATMI, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATMI) and Ovonyx, Inc. today announced milestone progress toward the commercialization of Germanium Antimony Telluride (GST)-based Phase Change Memory (PCM) devices using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) processes. The performance demonstrated from this on-going joint development work represents a critical advance that will further enable CVD GST-based PCM to scale, and provide a cost-competitive memory technology. PCM is emerging as both a new node in the memory hierarchy due to its unique set of performance attributes as well as a replacement of NOR flash; it is on a trajectory to displace a significant segment of DRAM at advanced technology nodes.

This work enabled conformal depositions in high aspect ratio PCM cells and demonstrated good electrical results when compared to sputter-deposited GST 225 on comparable device structures. Results include various CVD alloy depositions that demonstrated set speed below 50-nanoseconds (ns), typical endurance of 108 to1010 cycles, and data retention that exceeded 100°C for 10 years. Results of the latest joint research will be published as a peer-reviewed technical paper highlighting the electrical performance in the September issue of Electron Device Letters. ATMI will also be presenting a paper focusing on the CVD process at the European\Phase Change and Ovonics Symposium (E/PCOS).

"GST-based PCM continues to show significant commercial potential as a replacement memory technology for NOR Flash and segments of DRAM markets," commented Tod Higinbotham, ATMI's executive vice-president and general manager, microelectronics. "However, one of the challenges in the path to more rapid scaling has been the lack of a CVD process capable of producing fully confined cells for further reset current reduction. Reduction in reset current will lead to memory devices that use less power, extending battery life and offering higher data bandwidth—important factors in today's data-centric, highly portable consumer devices."

The companies plan to license these technologies to the semiconductor industry with ATMI providing the associated precursor materials and the deposition technologies, thus further enabling and accelerating the commercialization of PCM for high performance memory applications. ATMI is on track to demonstrate the CVD GST technology on full 300mm wafers in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"With this achievement, we are realizing a more optimized thermal environment for the phase change volume. The end result is a cost effective, highly scalable device with reduced programming current," added Tyler Lowrey, Ovonyx President and CEO.

ATMI has been working with Ovonyx as a joint development partner since March 2008. Under the terms of the partnership, Ovonyx has provided all the electrical test chips and performance characterization and holds fundamental intellectual property around PCM.

About Ovonyx

Ovonyx, Inc. was formed with the charter to commercialize its proprietary phase-change semiconductor memory technology originally invented at Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. Ovonyx nonvolatile PCM technology offers significantly faster write and erase speeds through its capability for byte-write in either direction (avoiding the need to erase a block to write a bit), higher cycling endurance, and better scaling performance with new generations of photolithography than conventional Flash memory. Relative to DRAM, PCM eliminates the refresh power by retaining its memory without power. PCM also has the advantage of a simple fabrication process that allows the design of semiconductor chips with embedded nonvolatile memory using only a few additional mask steps. Ovonyx is pursuing commercialization of its array-addressed memory systems through licenses and joint development programs with semiconductor manufacturers including BAE Systems, Intel Corporation, ST Microelectronics, Elpida Memory, Samsung Electronics, and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. For more information, please visit www.ovonyx.com.

About ATMI

ATMI, Inc. provides specialty semiconductor materials, materials development services, and high-purity materials handling and delivery solutions designed to increase process efficiencies for the worldwide semiconductor, flat panel, and life sciences industries. For more information, please visit http://www.atmi.com .

The ATMI, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5254

© 2010 ATMI, Inc. All rights reserved. ATMI, and the ATMI logo, are trademarks or registered trademarks of ATMI, Inc., in the United States, other countries, or both.

Statements contained herein that relate to ATMI's future performance, including, without limitation, statements with respect to ATMI's anticipated results of operations or level of business for 2010 or any other future period, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on current expectations only and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including, but not limited to, changes in semiconductor industry growth (including, without limitation, wafer starts) or ATMI's markets; competition, problems, or delays developing, commercializing and delivering new products; problems or delays in integrating acquired operations and businesses; uncertainty in the credit and financial markets; and other factors described in ATMI's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. ATMI undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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