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Flash memory devices cut erase times to 18ms

Posted: 11 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microchip Technology? Flash memory? SQI? CMOS? embedded system?

Microchip Technology Inc. has uncloaked a line-up of 3V serial quad I/O interface (or SQI interface) memory devices available in 16Mb, 32Mb or 64Mb configurations. The SST26VF is a three-member 26 series SQI interface family manufactured using Microchip's high-performance CMOS SuperFlash technology, which claims to offer the industry's fastest erase times and superior reliability.

According to the company, sector and block erase commands of the SST26VF are completed in just 18ms, and a full chip erase operation is completed in 35ms. Competing devices require 10s to 20s to complete a full chip erase operation, making the SST26VF about 400 times faster, stated Microchip. These fast erase times can provide a significant cost savings to customers, by minimising the time required for testing and firmware updates, and therefore increasing their manufacturing throughput.

Microchip's SQI interface is a low pin count, high-speed 104MHz quad-bit address and data multiplex I/O serial interface, which allows for high data throughput in a small package. This interface enables low-latency execute-in-place (XIP) capability with minimal processor buffer memory, reducing the overall design footprint compared to traditional parallel memory interfaces. The SST26VF family provides faster data throughput than a comparable x16 parallel Flash device, without the associated high cost and high pin count of parallel Flash. The SQI interface also offers full command-set backward compatibility for the ubiquitous serial peripheral interface (SPI) protocol.

SuperFlash devices

Designed for low power consumption, the SST26VF is geared for energy-efficient embedded systems. Standby current consumption is 15mA, typical, and the active read current at 104MHz is 15mA, typical. The combination of 3V operation with low power consumption and small-form-factor packaging makes the SST26VF devices an excellent choice for applications such as servers, printers, cloud computing systems, HDTV, Internet gateways, appliances, security systems and a range of embedded systems.

The SST26VF devices also boast excellent quality and reliability, with 100 years of data retention and device endurance of over 100,000 erase/write cycles. Enhanced safety features include software write protection of individual blocks for flexible data/code protection; the upper and lower 64KB of memory are partitioned into smaller, 8KB sectors that can both read- and write-lock. In addition, the devices include a one-time programmable (OTP) 2KB secure ID area, consisting of a 64bit, factory-programmed unique ID and a user-programmable block. These features protect against unauthorised access and malicious read, program and erase intentions. The devices also include a JEDEC-compliant Serial Flash Discoverable Parameter (SFDP) table, which contains identifying information about the functions and capabilities of the SST26VF devices for simpler software design.

The SST26VF family is available for sampling and volume production in multiple package options, including 8-pin SOIC and SOIJ, 16-pin SOIC, 8-contact WDFN and 24-ball TBGA, as well as in die and wafer form. In 10,000-unit quantities, the 16Mb SST26VF016B starts at $0.90 each, the 32Mb SST26VF032B starts at $1.17 each, and the 64Mb SST26VF064B starts at $1.84 each.

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