Renesas Rolls Out 256-Mbit SuperAND Flash Memory with Fast Write

2/6/2004 - Renesas Technology Europe has announced the 256-Mbit series of superAND flash memory. The new series offers a write speed of approximately 4 Mbyte/s, three times faster than that of the current 128-Mbit version, and improved ease of use through on-chip memory management functions. It is available in the same small CSP package as the current model. The flash memory is suitable for use in consumer products such as next-generation mobile phones, digital still cameras (with moving image capability) and portable information devices such as PDAs and handheld PCs.

The new series uses a 0.13-Ám process and Renesas Technology's AG-AND flash memory cell technology that offers multi-level cell technology and high speed. Two 3.3 V power supply voltage models are available: the x16-bit configuration HN29V256A0B, which supports a 16-bit bus width, and the x8-bit configuration HN29V256A1B, which supports an 8-bit bus width. These provide a choice to suit the user's system design.

The provision of on-chip memory management functions, such as bad-sector management, wear levelling and error correction, reduces the design workload by simplifying the system design. This is because these functions are usually handled on the system side when AND flash memory is embedded in an end product. The functions have been optimised for on-chip use based on technological experience gained in the development of controllers for flash cards such as CompactFlash® and MultiMediaCardsTM.

The on-chip bad-sector management function enables the flash memory to detect a defect and automatically switch to a spare sector if an abnormality occurs in a certain sector during rewriting. This allows the chip to achieve 100% perfect operation throughout its lifetime, regardless of whether a defect is present when the chip is shipped or occurs after shipment, enabling system design to be completed in a short period.

The wear levelling function allows effective use of flash memory rewrite areas and enables flash life to be extended. It does this by automatically switching data and addresses to an area in which few rewrites have been performed when rewrite operations reach a predetermined number of times, therefore preventing any concentration of write operations. The error correction function enables the chip to detect the location at which an error occurs and correct it if read data differs from written data when data is read. This provides data reliability and enables the design workload to be reduced on the system side.

The new devices also offer a power-on auto-read function which enables data to be read when the power is turned-on even without command or address input. The readable size has been extended from 2 Kbyte in the current 128-Mbit models to 8 Kbyte in the new series.

The new series is available in a 10 mm x 11.5 mm x 1.2 mm 95-ball CSP, the same package used for the current 128-Mbit superAND flash memory. This enables system size to be kept compact and facilitates the replacement of 128-Mbit products. Sample shipments of the HN29V256A0B and the HN29V256A1B will begin in March 2004 in Europe. CompactFlash and CF are trademarks of SanDisk Corporation of the United States, and are licensed to the CFA (CompactFlash Association). Renesas Technology is a member of the CFA.

MultiMediaCard is a trademark of the MMCA (MultiMediaCard Association). MMC is a trademark of Infineon Technologies AG of Germany. Renesas Technology is an MMCA board member.

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. designs and manufactures highly integrated semiconductor system solutions for mobile, automotive and PC and Audio Visual markets. Established on April 1, 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501, NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TSE:6503) and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Renesas Technology is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world and the number one microcontroller supplier globally. Besides microcontrollers, Renesas Technology offers system-on-chip devices, Smart Card ICs, mixed-signal products, flash memories, SRAMs and more.

Renesas Technology Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Technology Corp.

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