Memory subsystems in mobile handsets continue to grow in capacity and complexity, driven by growing storage requirements for images, music, video, and data as more features such as audio players, megapixel cameras, streaming video, GPS, and Mobile TV are integrated into mobile phones. As a result of its high capacity, fast write performance and low cost-per-bit, NAND flash has become the preferred data storage solution for mobile handsets. To address the diverse requirements for memory in mobile handsets, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) offers one of the industry’s broadest selections of embedded memory for this market, which will be on display at CTIA Wireless 2008 in Las Vegas, from April 1- 3.
“NAND flash use in multi-chip packages (MCPs) for mobile handsets is expected to exceed 50 percent in 2008, and removable memory card slots are now included in more than half of all phones, which means the mobile phone market is now one of the largest application categories for NAND,” said Scott Nelson, vice president, memory for TAEC.
TAEC’s mobile memory product line, developed by Toshiba Corp., includes MCPs, POPs (package on package), high-density embedded storage devices, and high-density cards. Toshiba also supports innovative high-density MCP solutions, which utilize MLC NAND technology plus a controller to achieve high-density at low cost while simplifying design-in.
Toshiba is a leader in MCPs that incorporate NAND flash and offers a broad selection of MCPs incorporating NAND flash, NOR flash, Low Power SDRAM and Pseudo SRAM for stacking within MCP and POP. Mobile phone usage of NAND flash within MCPs continues to grow to enhance user experience in multimedia equipped phones, and is expected to exceed 50 percent of the total handset market for 2008. Low power SDRAM, with a typical speed of 133MHz, provides working RAM memory to execute code stored in NAND flash memory in 2.5G and 3G handsets using a shadowing architecture to provide a cost-effective high performance solution. For handsets using an XIP architecture, Toshiba supports combination NAND and NOR MCPs (such as PSRAM+NOR +NAND).
mobileLBA-NAND MCP with SLC and MLC NAND on the Same Chip
Toshiba is now shipping mobileLBA-NAND, a new high-density NAND flash memory solution within MCPs that supports both a configurable single-level cell (SLC) memory area and a multi-level cell (MLC) memory area, allowing applications and data to be stored on the same chip. This allows cell phone manufacturers that have been using SLC NAND with a standard NAND interface in MCPs to easily take advantage of the lower cost and higher density advantages of MLC NAND while optimizing NAND performance in the handset. mobileLBA-NAND supports a standard NAND flash interface, which means that it can more easily be introduced into current generations of products. The LBA controller carries out essential functions, such as writing block management and error code correction (ECC), which minimizes any changes in the host controller specification. As a result, the new memories offer product developers immediately applicable solutions for reducing development time and costs for new and upgraded products. The five memories in the mobileLBA-NAND series range in capacity from 2- to 32-gigabits (Gb). The 2Gb, 4Gb and 8Gb versions can be allocated as SLC up to their full capacity, while the 16Gb and 32Gb versions can support up to 8Gb of SLC, offering manufacturers greater flexibility in allocating memory in their products.
Package on Package
Package-on-Package (POP) technology uses a modified MCP that saves significant circuit board space in cellular handsets and other mobile devices by stacking a high-density memory component on top of the processor so the two components require only one footprint on the board. Toshiba is offering Low Power SDRAM and high-density NAND flash POP configurations in 14.0mm x 14.0mm and 15.0mm x 15.0mm POP packages.
High Density Embedded Memories for Handsets
The demand for high density embedded storage continues to accelerate in data hungry multimedia mobile applications. Mobile phones for example are increasingly adding embedded multi-GB density storage in addition to MCP or POP. Toshiba offers three single-package alternatives for high density, cost-effective embedded storage, which combine MLC NAND with a memory controller to manage memory functions such as ECC, wear leveling and block management. The three alternatives provide designers with a choice of a NAND interface, high-speed MMC interface or SD interface. Toshiba LBA-NAND supports a standard NAND interface with densities from 2GB to 16GB. Toshiba’s e MMC solutions, offered in 1GB to 16GB capacities, integrate a dedicated controller that is fully compliant with the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) Ver. 4.2 high speed memory standard. For handset designers who prefer an SD interface, Toshiba eSD(TM) is a single-package solution with 2GB to 16GB that uses an SD bus, allowing easy design of products using an open SD interface.
In 2008, mobile phones are expected to become the largest application for flash memory cards, with estimated shipments of cards for use in mobile handsets approaching 400 million cards as the percentage of phones equipped with removable memory card slots approaches 60 percent, worldwide. The most widely accepted format is the microSD card, which Toshiba offers in capacities of 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB.
About Toshiba Corp. and TAEC
Through proven commitment, lasting relationships and advanced, reliable electronic components, Toshiba enables its customers to create market-leading designs. Toshiba is the heartbeat within product breakthroughs from OEMs, ODMs, CMs, distributions and fabless chip companies worldwide. A committed electronic components leader, Toshiba designs and manufactures high-quality flash memory-based storage solutions, discrete devices, displays, advanced materials, medical tubes, custom SoCs/ASICs, digital multimedia and imaging products, microcontrollers and wireless components that make possible today’s leading cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, medical devices, automotive electronics and more. Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, Japan’s largest semiconductor manufacturer and the world’s third largest semiconductor manufacturer (Gartner, 2007 WW Semiconductor Revenue Estimate, Dec. 2007).
LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND are trademarks of TOSHIBA Corporation. eMMC is a trademark of the MultiMediaCard Association.