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Low-power serial flash tailored for portable apps

Posted: 19 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flash memory  interface  SRAM 

Silicon Storage Technology claims the fastest quad-bit serial flash memory, operating from 1.8V and capable of sustaining 320Mbps burst data rates.

Featuring an 80MHz operating frequency and a specialised instruction set, the 26WF series serial quad I/O (SQI) family of 4bit multiplexed I/O serial interface devices enables execute-in-place (XIP) capability, allowing programs to be stored and executed directly from the flash memory without the need for code shadowing on an SRAM.

The 26WF series marries the performance typically associated with parallel flash memory, with the low pin count and space savings of serial flash memory, plus reduced power. This combination of high performance and low power consumption makes it well-suited for mobile handsets, Bluetooth headsets, GPS devices and other small form factor, portable electronics.

The announcement builds on the company's 3V SQI flash products, the 26VF series. Both 26 series devices from SST feature a read memory indexing feature that enables the devices to achieve the fastest random access performance of any quad-bit serial memory.

Read memory indexing allows the system to jump from one address to another within a 256byte page, within a 64KB block or from one block to another using indirect addressing. This results in a significant reduction in the number of clock cycles and dramatically accelerates data access.

With sustained burst data rates of up to 320Mbps, the 26WF series devices provide additional system speed and performance while reducing access time. The devices support 8-, 16-, 32- and 64-Byte burst mode operation with wrap around.

This feature allows designers to execute code in burst snippets for RAM-less applications or fill cache line buffers for applications where the system architecture uses pipelining to maximise bus bandwidth.

The 26WF series SQI devices offer memory write performance enhancements to improve overall device performance, including flexible erase capability to erase small block sectors on the chip in as little as 25ms or the entire flash memory chip in 50ms. The devices also support write suspend and resume operation so a program can suspend a write operation to access another block of memory within the same clock cycle.

The chips offer a reliability of 100,000 cycles endurance (typical) and greater than 100 years data retention. The active read current of the devices is only 15-mA (typical at 80 MHz) and standby current is a mere 10µA (typical).

To ensure code security, all 26WF series devices support software write protection for individual blocks, the upper and lower 64-KBs of memory are partitioned into smaller 8KB sectors that can both read- and write-lock. In addition, the devices include a one-time programmable secure ID area, consisting of a 64bit factory programmed unique ID and a 192bit user programmable block.

All 26WF series SQI devices are available in both commercial and industrial temperature ranges, and are offered in an eight-contact WSON (6mm x 5mm) or 8-lead SOIC (200mil) package. The first product in this series is the 32Mbit SST26WF032.

Samples of the product are available now to select customers, with volume production scheduled for Q1 10.

- Julien Happich
EE Times Europe

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