Freescale Semiconductor announced 90 nanometer (nm) thin film storage (TFS) flash memory technology for its next-generation microcontroller (MCU) platforms. The advanced technology is expected to be deployed in Freescale MCUs targeted for applications ranging from consumer electronics and household appliances to medical devices and smart metering systems.
Freescale also introduced FlexMemory, a key feature of TFS flash. FlexMemory provides simple, cost-effective, on-chip, enhanced electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) with the added benefits of industry leading flexibility, performance and endurance. FlexMemory can be configured by the user as additional flash memory or as a combination of EEPROM and flash memory.
“Our goal is to provide developers with complete plug-and-play solutions designed to alleviate cost and time-to-market concerns while helping them differentiate their end products,” said Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group. “The technology developments we’re announcing today will help address these issues and demonstrate our drive to remain at the forefront of embedded MCU innovation.”
Key Features of Freescale’s 90nm Thin Film Storage Flash
With the introduction of TFS technologies, Freescale can deliver the following benefits:
- Industry leading bit-level reliability through revolutionary silicon nanocrystal technology
- Fast, low-voltage transistors that provide low-power read capability and help satisfy the increasing demands of power-sensitive applications with full flash operation specified down to 1.71 volts
- Flash access times of <30 nanoseconds
- Excellent area efficiency, enabling a rich level of memory and peripheral integration across flash densities
FlexMemory adds EEPROM capability as a key feature to Freescale’s 90nm thin film storage flash, and offers several enhancements over traditional EEPROM, including:
- Customer-selected, application-optimized trade-off of quantity of available EEPROM (up to 16KB) and endurance (greater than one million cycles over full temperature and voltage range)
- Only 1.5 milliseconds are required for erase + write, which is five times faster than traditional EEPROM solutions
The versatility of Freescale’s FlexMemory enables it to be used for a variety of purposes including additional application program code storage, storage for data tables or for byte write/erase system data. In all modes, FlexMemory can be accessed simultaneously with the main program memory.
Simple and powerful development support
To complement its latest technology investments, Freescale plans to continue to focus on its enablement solutions, which include:
- CodeWarrior Development Studio, which includes the Processor Expert code generation wizard, is a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) that provides a visual and automated framework to accelerate the development of the most complex embedded applications. A recently released beta version of CodeWarrior 10.0 is available now, leveraging the open architecture Eclipse software framework.
- Freescale MQX[tm] real-time operating system (RTOS) ships with Freescale 32-bit MCUs and provides customers a full-featured, scalable RTOS that simplifies hardware management and streamlines software development. Freescale MQX RTOS is already ported to 10 platforms with a roadmap to support more than 10 additional platforms this year.
- The Freescale Tower System is a modular development platform that saves months of development time now and in the future through rapid prototyping and tool reuse. Six Tower System modules are available today, with more than 20 additional modules planned by the end of 2010. Interact, share ideas and join the fun with fellow designers at TowerGeeks.org
The advancement in Freescale software and tool options, combined with next-generation MCUs based on the latest 90nm flash technology, will provide developers the technology and support they need to bring products to market quickly and efficiently.
Freescale intends to offer samples of MCU products featuring 90nm TFS technology and FlexMemory in the third quarter of 2010, with production quantities planned for early 2011.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.