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16Mbit flash memory chip targets PC BIOS apps

Posted: 24 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics  STMicro  memory chip  memory IC  memory device 

STMicroelectronics (ST) has released a 16Mbit serial flash memory chip with 4KB sectors. This device is targeted at PC BIOS applications as well as optical disc drives, digital voice recorders, networking products and STBs.

The M25PE16 is accessed through an SPI-compatible serial bus operating at up to 50MHz and is the first Serial Flash device from ST with 4KB subsectors.

The use of a four-wire high-speed serial interface rather than a parallel memory bus delivers dramatic savings in board space and costs, needing a smaller package and fewer pins, according to the company.

The memory is organised as 32 sectors. Each sector contains 256 pages and each page is 256bytes wide. Moreover, each sector is divided into 16 sub sectors of 16 pages. The memory can be written or programmed 1 to 256bytes at a time, using the Page Write or Page Program instructions. It can be erased a page at a time, a subsector at a time, a sector at a time, or as a whole using the Bulk Erase instruction. The fine Erase and Program granularity makes it ideal for storage of BIOS parameters.

The memory offers enhanced protection features to prevent accidental programming or erasure. The memory can be Write Protected by either hardware or software using mixed volatile and non-volatile protection features, depending on the application needs. The protection granularity is of either 64KB (sector granularity) or 4Kbytes (sub sector granularity inside sector 0 and sector 31).

The M25PE16 operates on a single supply voltage of 2.7V to 3.6V and is specified for the 40°C to 85°C operating temperature range. It features a 1µA deep power-down mode to reduce system power consumption, and includes a JEDEC standard Two-Byte electronic signature for easy device identification. Data retention is specified as greater than 20 years, with more than 100,000 Erase/Program cycles per sector.

Samples of the M25PE16, in S08W and MLP8, 5-by-6mm, RoHS-compliant ECOPACK packages, are available now, with volume production planned for January 2007. Pricing is Rs.54.62 ($1.20) in quantities of 100,000.

- Marty Gold

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