Winbond Electronics Corporation, a leading global supplier of semiconductor memory solutions, today announced the successful interoperability of its OctalNAND Flash Memory and Synopsys’ DesignWare Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI) IP.
NOR technology is traditionally used by automotive and industrial OEMs for code storage because it is highly reliable and its fast-read throughput supports fast boot performance. However, it is gradually meeting its limits as the code size routinely exceeds 512Mb, especially in automotive applications such as graphics displays and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)
It consequently raises NOR technology’s prices, since it scales poorly at densities above 512Mbits. This in turn impacts NOR technology’s ability to supply high-density NVM cost effectively while still being assembled in industry standard packages. Meanwhile, as Winbond.noted, even though conventional NAND flash technology scales well, it has been too slow for functions such as shadowing boot code to DRAM.
To address the issue, Winbond developed OctalNAND Flash. Winbond’s OctalNAND flash enables automotive and industrial manufacturers to provide code storage in high density without having to pay a premium for NOR flash. It also offers partial compatibility with Octal NOR flash, which makes it easier to replace NOR flash in existing designs.
“By supporting Winbond’s OctalNAND controller with the silicon-proven DesignWare SSI IP, Synopsys provides fast memory access while simplifying the effort of integrating OctalNAND Flash into mobile, consumer, IoT, and automotive SoCs,” said John Koeter, senior vice president of marketing and strategy for IP at Synopsys.
With OTA (Over-the-Air) increasingly becomes a standard feature in embedded system designs, the difference between NOR and NAND technologies matters, since the density usage often doubles. 1Gb and 2Gb for code storage are now common. 4Gb is also being regularly considered.
Compared to NOR Flash, OctalNAND Flash is capable of erasing up to 400 times faster and programming up to 50 times faster. When a large section of the flash needs to be OTA updated, moving from a NOR device to OctalNAND Flash can mean a reduction of Erase/Program time from nearly 10 min to less than 1 min thus greatly improving system availability and user experience.
While NAND devices can come with bad memory blocks, Winbond’s OctalNAND Flash comes with the block management look-up table feature that enables bad blocks to be mapped away and replaced with good blocks, thus enabling the host to maintain a contiguous address space and simplifying high speed code shadowing without the host having to skip around bad blocks.
Using the combination of DesignWare SSI IP and OctalNAND Flash, SoC designers can accelerate their time-to-market for SoCs requiring cost-efficient, high-speed, high-density code storage flash memories.