SAN JOSE, Calif. Micron Technology Inc. Monday (June 5) entered the “fusion memory” chip business for mobile phones a move that puts the company in direct competition against M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Micron’s technology, dubbed Managed NAND, is an embedded multi-chip package (MCP) product line that combines the company’s NAND flash memory with a high-speed multimedia card (MMC) controller. Applications include feature-rich mobile handsets and other portable devices.
The company’s technology competes against Samsung’s so-called “fusion memory” technology, dubbed OneNAND. Geared for cell phones and other products, OneNAND’s fusion architecture features a single-level-cell NAND core with SRAM and logic elements that emulates a NOR flash interface, according to Samsung (Seoul, South Korea).
Samsung’s OneNAND claims to combine the advantages of the high-speed data read functions of NOR and the data storage offerings of NAND. Israel’s M-Systems, now called msystems, sells a similar product, dubbed mDoc.
Micron believes that it offers a standard and superior solution, as compared to what it calls proprietary offerings from msystems and Samsung. Micron’s all-in-one memory and controller package streamlines a manufacturer’s mobile design process and simplifies NAND flash procurement logistics, according to the company.
The products from msystems and Samsung “are interim solutions,” said Achim Hill, senior director of strategic marketing and product development at Micron (Boise, Ida.). “They require custom software to be integrated on the wireless processor. People don’t like to integrate wireless custom software.”
In contrast, Micron claims that its MMC technology is an industry standard interface. The system processor accesses the managed NAND device using a high-level, block abstracted protocol.
The flash controller embedded within the low-profile ball grid array (BGA) package handles error correction code (ECC), block erase and defect management functions.
Micron’s Managed NAND devices will be available in 1-gigabyte (GB) and higher densities. The new device accommodates data transfer rates of up to 52-megabytes-per-second and offers manufacturers design options of 1.8-volt VCC (1.8-volt I/O) or 3.3-volt VCC (3.3-volt I/O or 1.8-volt I/O) and single-level-cell (SLC) or multi-level-cell (MLC) technology.
Micron is currently sampling these devices to select customers, with general sampling and production expected in 2007.