X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry and expert in “More than Moore” technologies, became the first and only pure play foundry to offer an embedded non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM) process feature, leading to a single-chip solution. Combining the benefits of quickly accessible SRAM with the non-volatile data retention of EEPROM or FLASH memories, the new NVRAM capability of the XH018 process and supporting NVRAM compiler enable customers to achieve the same or better functionality in significantly less chip area, and to save time and effort as they design and test.
The new compiler allows designers to create cost-effective, ready-to-use NVRAM blocks according to their specifications, and try out various memory configurations before finalizing their design. The new XH018 embedded NVRAM Intellectual Property (IP) is an ideal design feature for fast, safe non-volatile data storage in applications that require dynamic data storage, data availability when the supply voltage is powered down, and data protection in case of sudden power loss. Typical applications include industrial control and automotive applications, data transfer systems, RAID data storage and security data handling.
Thomas Freitag, Product Line Manager of Melexis, said, “Using the NVRAM compiler from X-FAB allows us to define our memory blocks easily, in practically no time, and even allows us to experiment with different configurations. Until now, we have not had this capability.”
Traditionally, non-volatile RAM capability was created by combining SRAM with a separate EEPROM, requiring additional functionality for data handling and transfer, and added design effort to integrate and test the functionality. In contrast, X-FAB’s embedded NVRAM stores the SRAM content to the non-volatile memory in a single cycle. Dr. Jens Kosch, chief technology officer at X-FAB, said, “Our customers find they can easily integrate this new embedded NVRAM functionality with the rest of their design into a single-chip solution. Our new NVRAM process feature enables more cost-effective designs, due to the smaller chip area required, and the time-savings achieved.”
Both the NVRAM process feature in XH018 technology and the supporting NVRAM compiler are available now. The XH018 NVRAM compiler is provided via the X-FAB Extended Technical Information Center (X-TIC) accessible from X-FAB’s website.
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs). X-FAB maintains wafer production facilities in Erfurt and Dresden (Germany), Lubbock, Texas (US) and Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia), and employs approximately 2,500 people worldwide. Wafers are manufactured based on advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS processes with technologies ranging from 1.0 to 0.18 micrometers, for applications primarily in the automotive, communications, consumer and industrial sectors.