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Winbond intros quad-SPI serial flash memory

Posted: 10 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NOR flash? quad-SPI serial flash memory? Blu-ray? HD DVD?


Winbond Electronics Corp. said it has developed the industry's first serial flash memory with quad-SPI. The W25Q16 16Mbit SpiFlash Memory is the first in a family of high-performance memories ranging from 8- to 64Mbits. The product line features single, dual and quad I/Os in space- and cost-saving 8-pin packaging. W25Q16's Quad-SPI architecture allows for over six times the performance of the current generation of serial flash memories and offers a true code-execution (XIP) alternative to parallel-NOR flash.

Prior to the introduction of the W25Q family, serial flash memories were used primarily for simple non-volatile storage of code that is downloaded to SDRAM at power-up (code-shadowing). With quad-SPI performance, application-specific controllers can now execute code directly from Serial Flash, minimizing pin-count and SDRAM usage and significantly reducing system costs. According to Winbond, quad-SPI can also improve boot time for traditional code-shadow applications.

W25Q16 is well suited for consumer and industrial applications including Blu-ray disc systems, HD DVD and DVD-W drives, DVD players/recorders, WLAN and DSL equipment, PCs, DTV and STBs, printers, Bluetooth products and FPGAs.

Performance, features
The W25Q16 SpiFlash memory builds on the success of Winbond's W25X family of SpiFlash memories (1-64Mbit densities). The 25Q16 maintains function- and pin-out compatibility with the 25X, while adding dual-I/O and quad-I/O SPI capability for higher performance. The 25Q16 supports clock rates up to 80MHz, enabling an equivalent clock frequency of 320MHz (40MBps continuous transfer rate) when using quad-SPI operation. This is more than six times the transfer rate of standard serial flash memories that clock at 50MHz, said Winbond. Besides fast data transfer, the 25Q16 reduces "random access" overhead by over 70 percent by slashing the number of clocks required per read instruction from 40 to 12.

Efficient random access is essential for XIP operation. Assuming a typical instruction fetch of 32bytes, W25Q16 is capable of random access rates of greater than 32MBps. This outperforms 16bit asynchronous parallel flash memories (70ns access, 100ns cycle time) by more than 50 percent.

W25Q16 also includes other important features, such as uniform 4Kbyte erasable sectors for efficient memory allocation and storage of data. The 4Kbyte sectors are commonly required in many Intel-based PC applications.

According to Winbond, W25Q16 is also the first serial flash memory to offer erase-suspend/-resume capability, commonly found in parallel flash memories and necessary for interrupt-driven systems that must temporally halt an erase operation to read from flash memory. Security is also enhanced with lock-down and one-time-programmable (OTP) write protection and a 64bit unique ID number that can be used as a seed for copy-protection schemes.

The W25Q16VSSIG is available now in 208mil SO8 packages, with lead times of eight- to ten weeks.

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