9/4/2002 - SST (Silicon Storage Technology), a leader in flash memory technology, announced that its Shanghai-based subsidiary, SST China, has been selected by Shanghai HuaHong Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. (SHHIC) as the supplier of embedded flash memory technology. SHHIC is widely recognized as the leading developer and promoter of smart card technology in China, as well as one of the top five semiconductor design companies in that region. Under the terms of the deal, SST will provide its embedded SuperFlash technology in densities ranging from 256 Kbit to 4 Mbit to SHHIC through the relationships SST has secured with leading foundries in China, such as Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (GSMC). SHHIC will embed SST's flash memory in a variety of its IC designs, including its next-generation smart card ICs.
"SST has a clear roadmap and a focused plan with committed resources to offer embedded flash memory through local fabs here in China, so we will experience many manufacturing advantages, such as reduced cost and faster time-to-market, by using SST as our embedded flash memory supplier," said Dr. Hao Min, general manager, SHHIC. "We are also very impressed with SST's SuperFlash technology, as its low power, high reliability, volume production experience and general availability through multiple leading wafer foundries in Asia make it a perfect match for our next-generation secure smart card ICs."
"We recognized early on the growing yet under-served need for embedded flash memory in China, and because of the strategic moves we have made over the past year, including setting up a local subsidiary and securing strong relationships with Chinese wafer foundries, we have established SST as the leading provider of embedded flash memory in China," said Bing Yeh, president and CEO of SST. "SHHIC is among the leading fabless semiconductor companies in China and we are excited to be working with them in a smart card market that we expect will experience high growth not only in China but throughout the world in the years to come."
Smart cards are used heavily in China, Europe and other areas of the world to store data and enable secure transactions in a wide range of application areas including banking, identification, health care, multimedia, mass transit and wireless communications. According to market research firm Gartner Dataquest, worldwide smart card shipments reached 685.4 million units in 2001, up 10.4 percent from 2000.* SHHIC's next generation smart card ICs are based on a 32-bit microprocessor and will be available to the industry early next year.
The nonvolatile memory technology used for manufacturing smart card ICs has traditionally been thin-tunnel-oxide-based EEPROM technology. However, due to the large memory cell size and reliability concerns on the thin-oxide, EEPROM technology can only support smart card applications that require a small amount of embedded memory. SST believes that its embedded SuperFlash technology is the best candidate for future generations of smart card IC applications that require much higher density of embedded memory because the SuperFlash cell size is much smaller and the thicker oxide used in the SuperFlash technology has proven to have excellent data retention reliability in high-volume production. SST plans to further scale down its SuperFlash technology to accommodate multi-megabytes of embedded memory for future smart card IC applications.
SST China was established in December 2001 with the charter of developing and selling flash memory, ROM/RAM combo and embedded controller products in the Chinese marketplace, as well as providing embedded flash memory design and manufacturing services to Chinese design houses. Paul Lui, vice president of the Special Products Group at SST, is head of the SST China operation.
About SuperFlash Technology
SSTís SuperFlash technology is a NOR type, split-gate cell architecture which uses a reliable thick-oxide process with fewer manufacturing steps resulting in a low-cost, nonvolatile memory solution with excellent data retention and higher reliability. The split-gate NOR SuperFlash architecture facilitates a simple and flexible design suitable for high performance, high reliability, small or medium sector size, in- or off-system programming and a variety of densities, all in a single CMOS-compatible technology.
About Silicon Storage Technology (www.sst.com)
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, SST designs, manufactures and markets a diversified range of nonvolatile memory solutions, based on proprietary, patented SuperFlash technology, for high volume applications in the digital consumer, networking, wireless communications and Internet computing markets. SST's product families include high functionality flash memory components, flash mass storage products and 8-bit microcontrollers with on-chip flash memory. SST also offers its SuperFlash technology for embedded applications through its world-class manufacturing partners and technology licensees IBM, Motorola, National Semiconductor, NEC Corporation, Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Seiko Epson Corp., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) and Winbond Electronics Corp. TSMC offers SuperFlash under its trademark Emb-FLASH.
About SHHIC (www.shhic.com)
Shanghai HuaHong Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. is one of the top five fabless semiconductor design companies in China. The company aims to provide the IT industry high-quality, low-cost solutions with leading-edge semiconductor technology. It focuses on the technology development and production of smart card chips and is extending into consumer and automobile electronics. Led by a talented team with both academia and industry experience, the company provides a complete product line in both contact and contactless smart card chips and is developing new products for high-security, large-capacity applications. The contactless smart card chip was successfully applied to the automatic fare collection system for Shanghai public transportation, which is one of the most complicated transportation systems in the world and covers buses, subways, ferries, light railways, parking, highway tolling, etc. The contact card chip was used in the Shanghai Social Security Card, which serves 13 million Shanghai residents. The products are expanding rapidly across China.
* According to the "Worldwide Chip Card Market Share, 2001" Gartner Dataquest
The SST logo and SuperFlash are registered trademarks of Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. Emb-FLASH is a trademark of TSMC.
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