Spansion takes aim at DRAM with new NOR-based Hyperbus technology

For embedded developers who want to get as much performance and bus bandwidth out of their NOR flash memory-based designs Spansion has developed what it calls the Hyperbus Interface that puts to shame its earlier Quad SPI flash technology as well as last generation serial bus-based devices to shame.

The company is first applying the technology to a new family of HyperFlash NOR Memory devices that feature read throughputs of up to 333 megabytes per second, more than five times faster than its ordinary Quad SPI flash currently available and does so with one-third the number of pins of parallel NOR flash.

The initial read access time is 96 nanoseconds.

The 12-pin Spansion HyperBus Interface consists of an 8-pin address/data bus, a differential clock (2 signals), one Chip Select and a Read Data Strobe for the controller.

The initial members of the HyperFlash Memory family will offer 3V and 1.8V power-supply versions and initially include three densities: 128Mb, 256Mb and 512Mb, with the 512Mb devices sampling in the second quarter of 2014.

For space constrained embedded designs, HyperFlash memories will be available in a space-saving 8x6mm ball grid array (BGA) package. Spansion HyperFlash Memory devices provide a migration path—from single Quad SPI to Dual Quad SPI to HyperFlash Memory—allowing system applications to be scaled to different levels of flash performance when paired with compatible controllers

Initially the company is aiming use of the interface in NOR based design such as automotive instrument clusters, where developers have been asking for “instant-on” and an interactive graphical user interfaces that require less use of DRAM, which requires battery backup or dependence on external power, as well low latency, high read throughput, and low pin-count.

For many embedded system developers in addition to reducing the amount of DRAM needed, the most attractive feature in Spansion’s HyperBus Interface will be that it allows much faster boot time and ability to do direct execute-in-place (XIP) from flash.

Especially attractive to automotive system developers of automotive instrument clusters is that it is designed from the get-go to operate under extended temperatures, ranging from minus 40 to 125 degrees Centigrade, required by automakers.

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