SAN FRANCISCO—Technical analysts and consulting firm UBM TechInsights said Wednesday (May 2) that Freescale Semiconductor Inc. was chosen to receive the Most Innovative Process Technology Insight Award for its PK60X256VLQ100 Kinetis ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller (MCU).
A circuit analysis by UBM TechInsights confirmed the presence of on-chip non-volatile memory made using split-gate thin film storage (SG-TFS) technology, the firm said. UBM TechInsights said it choice of SG-TFS to be innovative for its unique construction. SG-TFS is built with silicon nanocrystals as the storage medium, making this Kinetis MCU the first commercial product to successfully utilize this technology.
"Freescale's achievement was the successful implementation of SG-TFS," said Jason Abt, director of technical intelligence at UBM TechInsights, in a statement. "We were pleasantly surprised when Freescale delivered production samples on schedule, and our initial investigation revealed this microcontroller truly did include on-chip non-volatile memory made with silicon nanocrystals. This technology results in a fast and reliable memory that is compatible with standard CMOS technology."
UBM TechInsights said it has done extensive research and analysis on Freescale's PK60X256VLQ100 ARM-based MCU, including examination of the device at the package and die level with analysis of the process technology, memory cell configuration and material identification.
Introduced more than a decade ago, the Insight Awards remain the first industry-recognized program to celebrate engineering design and innovation at the semiconductor level. Winners are chosen independently from a judging panel consisting of senior analysts and engineers to ensure that devices submitted for consideration are evaluated on the merits of their design and technical achievements, according to UBM TechInsights. UBM TechInsights, based in Ottawa, Canada, is owned by UBM plc, the same company that owns and publishes EE Times.
Freescale's Kinetis ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller won the Insight Award for Most Innovative Process Technology. Image is an SEM cross-section at edge of Flash array.