Winbond: very-low-voltage Flash memories in small 8-pin packages

Winbond Electronics announced the newest members of the SpiFlash family providing serial flash memories for audio, wearable, IoT and other demanding applications that call for low power in small packages. Their low voltages and 52 megabytes per second transfer rate make the new SpiFlash memories optimal for a broad range of consumer and industrial applications.

Winbond’s two new lines of low-voltage SpiFlash memories provide low standby and power-down currents, along with the lowest read current at high clock frequency. Their market leading low power capability enables designs with longer battery life.  The extended 1.5V memory also takes full advantage of the popular 1.5V battery technology’s operating voltage range. This ensures that the device is operational and supports the full voltage range from the time the battery is fresh to when it reaches its end point at the lowest operating voltage of 1.14V.

Most serial flash devices are used for code shadowing, when the code stored in flash is transferred to DRAM for execution, and for data storage. The other common use is in execute-in-place (XIP) applications, where read performance is important and in which code is executed directly from flash.

 

These two families of low-voltage products support QSPI and QPI with 52Mbytes per second performance for XIP operation, which is comparable to the performance of existing 1.8V and 3V serial flash products in the market. Since it can deliver 52Mbytes per second read performance and fast program/erase times, the memories complement all chipsets that support 1.2V and extended 1.5V range. These products deliver serial flash performance most consumer, industrial and other low-power applications require.

The new very-low-voltage SpiFlash memories’ features also contribute to printed circuit board (PCB) space savings.  In place of the larger power-management ICs, smaller low-dropout regulators can be used due to the design’s lower voltages, saving PCB area and bill-of-materials costs. Because of the ultra-low stand-by power of the SpiFlash devices, battery usage time gets extended and devices can be operated for a much longer period of time.  Additionally, the lower voltages reduce noise coupling, which provides for more-compact PCB designs.

The first product in the family, the W25Q80NE at 8Mb density at 1.2V is available today in samples and will be available in production in the beginning of 2018. The rest of the family of products ranging from 1Mb through 128Mb density at 1.2V, and wide range from 1.5V to 1.2V will follow.


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