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Intel, ST set common spec for mobile flash subsystems

Posted by iMark - 2005-12-07

LONDON — STMicroelectronics NV and Intel Corp. have collaborated to develop a NOR-flash memory subsystem for inclusion in mobile phone handsets. The two companies said they would provide hardware- and software-compatible memory products based on common specifications.
The first multi-level cell NOR products based on the common specifications are 512-Mbit devices independently designed and manufactured on industry-leading 90-nanometer process technology, the companies said.

The common subsystem specifications would be extended to 65-nm MLC NOR technology and would focus on single-chip 1-Gbit MLC NOR products, the companies said.

"These are independent designs, different manufacturing processes, independent capacity, but to common specification," said Giuseppe Crisenza, vice president of STMicroelectronics' memory products group.

ST is manufacturing its chips an R&D fab in Agrate, Italy and in Singapore, while Intel started manufacturing at the D2 facility in Santa Clara, California and is bringing up capacity at Fab 18 in Israel.

The high-level specification covers multi-chip packages with NOR flash and synchronous DRAM or pseudostatic RAM, but is likely to evolve to include NAND flash memory over time, according to Ed Doller, chief technology officer for Intel's flash memory products group.

Doller said the agreement did not involve IM Flash, the recently announced manufacturing initiative between Intel and Micron, except so far as IM Flash would supply Intel with flash memories.

"This is an agreement to standardize the interface as a system-level specification to save time and money for the handset builders and to allow us to offer additional features such as security and identification," said Crisenza.

“ST and Intel have come together to provide handset OEMs with a stable supply of NOR flash products that deliver fast performance, high density and low power consumption for multi-media phones with mega-pixel cameras, video, and high-speed data capabilities,” Crisenza added.

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