A look at key market, industry, and technology trends for the past week.
Embedded memory is expected to play a key role in the memory market going forward.
The TMPM36BF10FG microcontroller from Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. boasts 258 KB of SRAM, including 2KB of backup memory. Memory is designed to store system information, a wide range of measured data enabling implementation of middleware and a real-time operating system. The unit also sports 1 MB of onboard flash ROM. Applications include energy management systems (EMSs), communications, motion control, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, industrial equipment, and computer hardware.
"Demand for larger on-chip memories in microcontrollers is growing dramatically with the development of more sophisticated and complex applications that require much more code, as well as data storage and management," says Andrew Burt, VP of the Analog and Imaging Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC. He points to the EMS sector as a major growth driver. Devices are currently sampling, with mass production slated for September 2013. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Toshiba plans to invest almost ¥30 billion to expand its Yokkaichi fab to increase wafer starts for NAND flash manufacturing.
As we move into the post-PC era, action in the memory market is busy migrating toward the edges. It's not just the mobile and tablet sectors making headlines -- enterprise-class solid-state drives promise to believe the flash memory market for some time to come. If you want evidence of that trend, look no further than Western Digital's acquisition of sTec Inc. Western Digital subsidiary HGST, formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, made the acquisition for around $340 million.
On the funding front, the venture arm of SanDisk Corp., SanDisk Ventures, invested an undisclosed amount into flash-storage vendor Panzura, which specializes in enterprise-class flash network-attached storage (NAS) solutions. Panzura, which already received cash from SanDisk in a recent Series D funding round, focuses on enterprise storage for cloud applications.