3V 16/32/64-Mbit SQI, SuperFlash memories save production time & cost

March 10, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Microchip positions its latest NOR flash memory devices as enabling XIP capability with the world’s lowest power consumption and fastest-available read/write times

This family of three, 3V Serial Quad I/O interface (or SQI interface) SuperFlash memory devices, SST26VF, is available with 16-Mbit, 32-Mbit or 64-Mbit of memory, and is manufactured using Microchip’s CMOS SuperFlash technology, for fastest erase times and reliability.

Sector and block erase commands are completed in 18 msec, and a full chip erase operation is completed in 35 msec. Competing devices require 10 to 20 seconds to complete a full chip erase operation, Microchip asserts,making the SST26VF approximately 400 times faster. These fast erase times can provide a significant cost savings, by minimising the time required for testing and firmware updates, and therefore increasing manufacturing throughput.

Microchip’s SQI interface is a low pin count, high-speed 104 MHz quad-bit address and data multiplex I/O serial interface, which allows for high data throughput in a small package. This interface enables low-latency execute-in-place (XIP) capability with minimal processor buffer memory, reducing the overall design footprint compared to traditional parallel memory interfaces. The SST26VF family provides faster data throughput than a comparable x16 parallel Flash device, without the associated high cost and high pin count of parallel Flash. The SQI interface also offers full command-set backward compatibility for the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocol.

Designed for low power consumption, the SST26VF has standby current consumption of 15 µA, typical, and the active read current at 104 MHz is 15 mA, typical, offering a combination of 3V operation with low power consumption and small-form-factor packaging,

The devices offer 100 years of data retention and device endurance of over 100,000 erase/write cycles. Enhanced safety features include software write protection of individual blocks for flexible data/code protection; the upper and lower 64 kBytes of memory are partitioned into smaller, 8-kByte sectors that can both read- and write-lock. In addition, the devices include a One-Time Programmable (OTP) 2 kByte Secure ID area, consisting of a 64-bit, factory-programmed unique ID and a user-programmable block. These features protect against