Memory options are optimized for energy harvesting and IoT devices

X-Fab offers two non-volatile memory (NVM) IP products. One is a low power embedded Flash (eFlash) IP block and the other is a NVRAM compiler. Both are based on the company’s proprietary 180nm XH018 mixed-signal CMOS technology. They are designed for applications requiring high reliability and field re-programmability while operating at low power and in harsh environments, explains X-Fab.

The 128-kbit eFlash is available as an 8-k x 16-bit IP block. It is based on silicon-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (SONOS) flash technology.

The IP block has been designed for low power mixed-signal applications and features a deep power down stand-by mode consuming a maximum of only 50nA.

The X-FAB eFlash IP block is targeted at replacing standalone NVM memories and embedded one-time-programmable (OTP) memories in low power applications, enabling onsite program code updates. This means that it is suited to energy harvesting and remotely located IoT devices, where power constraints and harsh environments need to be dealt with, but field re-programmability must be offered at a low cost, explains X-Fab.

The eFlash IP block has been qualified to comply with the AEC-Q100 standard. Operation is across a temperature range of -40 to +125 degree C. The SONOS technology enables reliable operation of the IP block when combined with high-voltage (HV) options ranging from 6.0 to 45V. This is made possible by the NMOS, PMOS and DMOS transistors available with X-Fabs’s 180nm XH018 process. High field reliability is enabled with a number of test modes explicitly designed to test individual memory bit cell currents and achieve 0 PPM in the field. Finally, special test modes have been designed into the IP to optimise production testing and minimise test time and cost.

Combining the fast read/write speeds of a conventional SRAM with the non-volatility of an EEPROM, the X-Fab NVRAM compiler generates and integrates memories from 1.0 to 16-kbits in a range of applications requiring fail-safe memories. The contents of the SRAM can be backed up to the EEPROM resource in the event of a power failure. This is a useful feature for safety-critical applications – such as smart meters, industrial control devices or data transfer systems. The NVRAMs can be re-programmed up to 100,000 times at 35 degree C and up to 10,000 times at 175 degree C. NVRAM blocks generated by the compiler can retain data for up to 20 years without battery power in high temperature environments (125 degree C). Innovations in the test logic integrated with the NVRAM reduce the test time by avoiding time-consuming measurements for low currents, points out X-Fab, reducing production test costs.

Both the eFlash IP block and the NVRAM compiler are immediately available via X-Fab‘s XH018 process for new designs.


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