thank you...extra 6 to 8 processing steps sounds like a significant cost adder to me, 20%? 30%?...are you sure that integrated embedded flash chip is a winning proposition against two chips (flash+logic) fabricated in their respective process flavours? Kris
Embedded Flash adds 6 to 8 masks to a logic process. Many MCUs include Flash and most MCU manufacturers and most foundries have embedded Flash options of varying densities. Stand alone NOR Flash (Spansions specialty) is a much smaller market than NAND Flash and is shrinking so this is probably an attempt to develop a growth strategy.
thank you Junko...I thought the problem was the flash uses different processing steps than logic...so the CMOC process that can do both flash and logic would be more expensive negating the benefit of having flash technology in your pocket...Kris
Many of today's MCU's and SoCs integrate some non-volatile memory. But suppliers of those SoCs are not able to scale the memory cells and its performance to keep pace with their advancements in logic design.
If Spansion's memory expertise can efficiently scale the embedded memory, it will certainly help their logic design. After all, not many logic design companies do not have memory expertise.
I've read somewhere that the non-volatile memory is becoming a higher percentage of the overall die. If so, it would end up in a sub-optimal logic process and larger, more costly die sizes.
My first reaction was that Spansion is late to the SoC game, but the strategy of specializing on the automotive space might turn out to be a very good idea. It seems like there is a surge in the sophistication of the onboard systems in automobiles that could be a good opportunity for a company willing to focus on them. This would be a change from many semiconductor companies that try to be all things to all customers.