Micron Technologies Inc. has introduced two new families of high-speed low power, double data rate (LPDDR4) DRAM and parallel NOR flash memory products that push performance. Rather than rolling out new memory in desktop, laptops, and mobile devices, the company will debut its chips in the automotive market.
The company's G18 family of high performance flash NOR devices are capable of 266 Mbites/second transfer rates, which will make possible faster boot and code execution for higher density applications. Its new LPDDR4 DRAMS are able to achieve peak bandwidth improvements by of 33 percent over standard DDR4 devices, Automotive Division Marketing Director Axel Schiller said.
Available in 256Mb, 512Mb and 1Gb densities in 8 x 10 mm packaging, the G18 x16 133 MHz parallel NOR are three times faster than quad SPI. With a 1.8V core and I/O voltage for better power consumption the G18 line also includes A/D MUX and AA/D MUX configurations that reduce I/O ball count by more than 50% over traditional parallel NOR products.
The new LPDDR4 devices, available in 4Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb capacities, are capable of data transfer rates up to 4.266 GT/s, which provides greater peak bandwidth using less energy per bit than previous generation LPDDR3 devices.
“With consumers expecting smart phone connectivity in their car infotainment systems along with advanced new automotive features like driver assist systems, memory requirements in the connected car are increasing,” said Giorgio Scuro, general manager of Micron's Automotive Division.
So Micron is initially targeting the G18 parallel NOR Flash family at automotive applications that require fast, reliable code storage and execution in the millisecond range, such as the reariew cameras in advanced driver-assist systems, which need fast boot speed for instant readiness.
As for the LPDDR4 family, Axel said the company's faster I/O data rate, delivering speeds up to 2133 MHz, will allow their use in displays with up to 4k x 2k resolution and 3D graphics on automotive infotainment systems, as well as in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for collision avoidance and safer driving. This efficiency gain applies not just to peak bandwidth but to lower bandwidth use cases as well, he said.
“For a long time, PCs, consumer electronics and mobile devices were the place a company first introduced new memory devices because of the high volumes and predictable growth,” said Giorgio. “But the connected car represents one of the largest markets for embedded memory. Demand in automobiles for flash and DRAM is growing and can be expected to continue as more sophisticated electronics are required, particularly in autonomous vehicles.”
But the price of participating is high. To ensure that their new memory products meet the demands of this segment, Micron has poured significant resources into testing and manufacturing capabilities for its new DRAM and flash NOR designs to make sure they are in compliance with various quality, reliability, security and safety standards that the automobile industry has imposed.
The company's parallel NOR devices, for example, are designed to be compliant with the JEDEC standard for stress-test-driven qualification of ICs (JESD47H) with 100K program/erase cycles and automotive qualified as per the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) Q100 specifications. Micron has also made sure that its manufacturing processes for these devices meet certification standards such as ISO/TS16949. Prepared by the International Automotive Task Force, this standard is aimed at development of a quality management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste.
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