STMicroelectronics Expands Application-Specific Flash Memory Portfolio


New devices target mobile phones, PDAs and set-top boxes

M58WR128EGeneva, January 20, 2003 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), one of the world leaders in Flash memory technology, has introduced several new additions to its range of application-specific Flash memory devices. These have been specifically designed for particular applications, to give greater performance without compromising cost-effectiveness. The new devices include the M58WR128E, optimized for use in mobile phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and similar nomadic applications, and the M58LWxxxC family optimized for use in set-top boxes (STB).

Nomadic Flash

The M58WR128E is a high-performance 128-Mbit Flash memory device, with asymmetrical block architecture. The array of 263 blocks is divided into 4-Mbit banks, with 31 banks each containing eight main blocks of 32KWords and one parameter bank containing eight parameter blocks of 4KWords and seven main blocks of 32KWords. The Multiple Bank Architecture allows Dual Operations, that is, while programming or erasing in one bank, read operations are possible in other banks. The Parameter Blocks are located at the top of the memory address space for the M58WR128ET, and at the bottom for the M58WR128EB. Each block can sustain over 100,000 program/erase cycles.

Operating with the 1.8V supply used in mobile phones and similar portable devices, the M58WR128E includes features such as burst mode, fast read and programming operations, and block-level erasing and locking. The device, which is available with access times of 70, 85 or 100ns, allows asynchronous and synchronous read operations. In synchronous burst mode, data can be read on every cycle of a 54MHz clock.

Thanks to an individual block-locking scheme, any block can be locked or unlocked with no latency, allowing instantaneous protection of code and data. In addition, all blocks are locked during power-up and when the programming voltage falls below a certain level. For increased data security, the M58WR128E includes a 192-bit protection register and security block. The register is split into two segments, a 64-bit segment programmed by STMicroelectronics and a 128-bit segment, One-Time Programmable by the user. The security block, which is parameter block 0, can be permanently write-protected by the user.

The combination of high density, flexibility and low power consumption make the M58WR128E ideal for wireless handset and other portable applications. Samples are available now, with volume quantities available during the second quarter of 2003. The device is also available in a multiplexed address/data bus version.

Secure Flash for STB

The M58LW032C and M58LW064C are new 32-Mbit and 64-Mbit devices developed in 0.15µm technology. All the devices have advanced features such as Synchronous Burst Read Mode at up to 56MHz, Page Read Mode with an access time of 110ns/25ns and individual Block Protection. Asynchronous Random Read operations are performed with an access time of 110ns. The devices feature a x8/x16 wide Data Bus, operate from a single power supply (2.7 to 3.6V) for program, erase and read operations and have a separated VDDQ I/O Buffer power supply from 1.8V to VDD. The devices contain special security features such as the capability to prevent reprogramming by permanently locking selected blocks.

The M58LW032C and M58LW064C Flash devices are excellent single-chip solutions for code and data storage. They are therefore ideal for applications such as set-top box, for which they have been initially developed, and also for communications (cell phones, PDA), networking (routers), PC and peripherals (printers), automotive (car multimedia platforms) and industrial applications (GPS systems, medical equipment).

ST's success in developing application-specific architectures, that allow current Flash production technologies to be optimally exploited, is the result of close cooperation with the major OEMs that are driving the development of new markets. This is an area where ST has a considerable advantage over other Flash suppliers because it has strategic alliances with key players in the computer peripheral, communications, automotive and consumer segments.

Further information on these devices can be found at

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