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Memory IP for code storage debuts

Posted: 20 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory IP? code storage? nonvolatile flash memory? SoC designs?

Virage Logic Corp. has rolled out a new family of embedded multi-time programmable (MTP), nonvolatile memory for code storage applications.

Combining Virage Logic's ROM and its NOVeA flash memory technology, the new emPROM line of MTP is aimed for SoC designs requiring up to 16Mbits of code storage. The company's NOVeA (NOn-Volatile, electrically Alterable) technology is a nonvolatile memory produced on a standard CMOS process. It is available in configurations ranging from 32bits to 16,384bits.

The new intellectual property (IP) from Virage Logic is manufactured on standard CMOS processes with no additional mask or process steps. It is designed for production on standard CMOS processes ranging from 180nm to 45nm.

Aimed for consumer, industrial, automotive and military applications, emPROM is specified for a minimum of up to 100,000 program cycles with a 10-year data retention rate at 125C.

Virage Logic claims its product has some major advantages. Most SoC designs use a two-chip solution to implement and execute program code. A flash memory is used for program storage and the SoC containing the embedded processor executes the program instructions.

This implementation introduces security problems, as ''the data crosses chip boundaries from the flash memory to the SoC,'' according to the company. ''Virage Logic's emPROM provides higher system performance and lower power consumption by enabling wider internal data paths and eliminating external I/Os. By eliminating the external flash memory device, emPROM improves design security and reliability while reducing system size and manufacturing costs.''

''In addition to processor code storage, emPROM can be used to enable in-system programmable feature selection for specific markets and applications as well as microcode encryption,'' said Joel Rosenberg, senior marketing director for nonvolatile memory and military products for Virage Logic.

Virage Logic's emPROM Memory System is available now along with a 90nm reference design. The reference design includes a project license for a 1Mbit via ROM, 4Kbit NOVeA 3.0, emPROM processor, RTL source code and documentation. Pricing starts at $90,000.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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