Spansion moves into industrial e.MMC market -

Spansion moves into industrial e.MMC market

TOKYO — Spansion has rolled out a family of “industrial-grade” embedded MultiMediaCard (e.MMC) memory products by using its high-density multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash. The company hopes to capture the growing demand for more reliable and higher-density storage among industrial embedded products.

Touhid Raza (Source: EE Times Japan)

Touhid Raza
(Source: EE Times Japan)

For its announcement at a press conference in Tokyo this morning, Spansion trotted out Touhid Raza, the company’s director responsible for NAND product marketing and business development, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Raza said that the announcement marks Spansion’s first foray into the e.MMC market.

Playing catchup
While Spansion is playing catchup with Micron and Toshiba — the two leaders in the industrial e.MMC market already shipping similar products — the move is of strategic importance to Spansion. Spansion is committed to expanding its memory product portfolio beyond parallel and serial NOR flash memory and single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory. In order to win in the memory business, Raza believes that Spansion should offer its customers a broad range of memory products.

Spansion aspires to become one of the top-tier players in the e.MMC market by making the most of “the company’s traditional embedded customers” and gaining the intimate knowledge of “exactly what they need,” said Raza.

Spansion’s e.MMC products available now come in 8 gigabyte and 16 GB densities. They are offered in two temperature options: -25°C to +85°C and -40°C to +85°C. Spansion plans to introduce 4 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB densities in the future. The e.MMC products for the automotive market are also scheduled for launch in 2015, according to Raza. Spansion, already in talks with automakers, is defining e.MMC product features for car infotainment systems, he added.

Flash management functions
In Spansion’s e.MMC products, the company moved all the flash management functions — such as error correction code, bad block management, and wear leveling — from an external host processor, and put them inside the single NAND package.

(Source: Spansion)

(Source: Spansion)

Raza explained that this minimizes the need for host software to accommodate process node migrations and vendor-specific NAND flash characteristics. “NAND products’ technology node transition happens two years at a time,” said Raza. “But those who invested in developing a printer SoC, for example, may not want to change its design for five years.

“Because we know both flash and NAND controller features well, we feel we can do a much better job in managing NAND inside the NAND package.”

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