This week, Spansion Inc. released the Spansion FL-S NOR Flash memory family at 65nm, which it reports is the industry’s fastest serial Flash memory. On Monday, I spoke with Ajay Bhatia, director of product marketing, at Spansion about this new memory. He tells me that Spansion aims to change the way people think about serial peripheral interface (SPI) memory, positioning it for higher performance applications. The FL-S NOR Flash product demonstrates read performance of up to 66 MB/s, which will allow for faster execute in place (XiP) operation. This is a departure from the typical offerings in SPI memory. Bhatia notes that this is significantly more performance than Spansion's previous generation NOR Flash and it surpasses competing solutions (typically 54 MB/s) by more than 20%. The fast read speeds can enable rapid boot times are particularly important for automotive displays and electronic programming guides.
In addition, the new Flash features up to 1.5 MB/s write speed (three times faster than current SPI solutions in the market). Spansion further claims five times faster chip erase (0.13 seconds versus 0.7 seconds) coupled with the three times faster programming speed (23 seconds versus 66 seconds). With this product, Spansion is looking to move its SPI Flash into automotive, home networking, smart meters, and WiMAX applications.
Another notable feature of the new FL-S NOR Flash memory is its security features. The memory provides enhanced security with temporary or permanent block write protection, permanent sector lock, advanced sector protection (including password protection mode) and a 1kB one-time programmable (OTP) region with a 128-bit ID. This is particularly relevant for smart meter applications.
Available from 128 Mb (megabit) to 1 Gb (gigabit)
Industrial and Automotive In-Cabin temperature support (-40C to +85C/+105C)
Expanded security options protect customer IP through 1kByte one-time programmable (OTP) region, individual sector protection, and hardware and software data protection. Unique 128 bit tracking ID for system authentication and additional security.
Vio range of 1.65V – 3.6V, Vcc range of 2.7V-3.6V. Supports 1.8V wireless products.
Common Flash Interface (CFI) data for configuration information
Industry-standard 3 Byte addressing for 128 Mb and extended 32-bit addressing (4 Bytes) for 256Mb and higher densities.
Spansion FFS: Customized software drivers and Flash file system software available at no additional cost.
Universal footprint approach: industry standard packaging, can swap in other memory densities as needs change.
Availability Industry-standard form-factors via Spansion’s Universal Footprint
16-pin SO (300 mil)
8-pin SO (208 mil planned for 128 Mb)
8-lead WSON 6x8 (128 Mb and 256 Mb densities only)
24-ball BGA 6x8
The 128 and 256 Mb Spansion FL-S products are sampling now and will start production in October. The 512 Mb density will be in production in Q4 with the 1 Gb density in Q2 2012.
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