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Spansion expands automotive-grade flash portfolio

Posted: 28 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Spansion  flash  NAND memory  Serial NOR  automotive 

Spansion Inc. has unleashed three Serial NOR and three NAND memory density devices intended for the automotive market. The company is also rolling out automotive-grade Spansion ML-G1 NAND flash memories qualified for -40°C to 105°C in 1Gb, 2Gb and 4Gb densities. The portfolio aims to serve the growing demand targeted at advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and more elaborate infotainment and centre stack systems, added Spansion.

Robin Jigour, SVP of Spansion's flash memory group, said the Serial NOR flash devices in 16Mb, 32Mb and 64Mb densities achieve AEC-Q100 qualification and meet production part approval process (PPAP) requirements.

Achieving temperature tolerance as high as 125°C is a particularly notable feat, he said. "There are others who also claim a similar extended high temperature, but typically, they have not passed all the qualification processes like ours did."

Anthony Lee, director of segment marketing at Spansion, said NOR flash memory devices are typically used for automotive systems that require high reliability, high quality, long durability and secure stability. These include ADAS and instrument clusters.

For example, consider a system where multiple ADAS cameras are mounted on a vehicle. Because these cameras are mounted outside the car, they are subject to wide temperature fluctuations. The memory devices, together with a processor and a sensor, are encased in a module that tends to heat up. Worse, "there is no fan inside the module," Lee said. All these factors make it imperative for NOR flash memory devices to be essentially immune to temperature variations.

By contrast, the key applications of NAND flash memory devices inside cars involve infotainment, centre stack and car navigation. Generally speaking, the requirement of such applications is focused on "better cost per density," rather than absolute robustness, Lee noted.

Jigour said the company is committed to meeting the automotive industry's needs. In February, it unveiled the HyberBus interface for embedded systems, such as automotive instrument clusters, that demand "instant-on" and an "interactive graphical user interface." When asked about the market, Spansion cited a groundswell of demand among car OEMs, Tier 1s and automotive chip suppliers.

HyperFlash NOR memory's use for infotainment, navigation and ADAS doesn't mean that it's replacing NAND flash in such systems, the company said, but it does facilitate a system design using less DRAM.

Jigour said that, together with HyperBus, Spansion is expanding its flash memory portfolio for the automotive market. The auto-grade Serial NOR and NAND memory devices are available in volume.

- Junko Yoshida
  EE Times

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