STMicroelectronics, represented in Australia by Braemac , has expanded its broad range of firmware hub (FWH) and low pin count (LPC) Flash memories with the introduction of higher density and higher performance 16Mbit Flash devices: the M50FW016 (2Mb x8, FWH, uniform block) and M50LPW116 (2Mb x8, LPC, boot block).
ST is the first company to offer a complete range of Flash memories for PC BIOS from 2Mbit to 16Mbit.
The new 16Mbit devices are also the first on the market to be compliant with the LPC interface specification, 1.1 Revision, allowing the M50FW016 to support multi-byte firmware memory read/write cycles, with the M50LPW116 able to support read/write memory cycles.
Thanks to the multi-byte read operation, the transfer rate can grow up to 15.6MB per second, faster than any existing serial Flash interface.
The M50FW016 and the M50LPW116 specifications have been defined in cooperation with motherboard designers to ensure full compliance with their requirements.
These devices are suitable for computer applications, such as servers, PCs and workstations to store system and video BIOS, embedded operating system/application software, configuration parameters and more.
In addition, these Flash memories are ideal for code storage applications, such as printers, digital still cameras, set-top boxes; DVD-RW drives, taking advantage of a fast serial interface.
The parts have been developed in ST's state-of-the-art 0.15µm process technology and they can both be electrically erased at the block level and in-system reprogrammed on a byte basis, using a 3.0 to 3.6 supply voltage; an optional 12V Vpp power supply is also provided to reduce programming and erasing times.
The M50FW016 is organised as 32 uniform blocks of 64kB each. The M50LPW116 has asymmetric block architecture: its array of 50 blocks is divided into one boot block of 16kB, two parameter blocks of 8kB, one main block of 32kB, 30 main blocks of 64kB and 16 parameters of 4kB each.
The programming time for both devices is 10µs (typical), with an option to program four adjacent bytes in the memory array simultaneously, through the Quadruple Byte Program command.
The erasing time for a 64kB block is 0.75s (typical), although a chip erase operation is also available.
Additional common features for 16Mb FWH and LPC memories are: a double way for block protection (the first one is hardware, through write protect pins and the second one is software, through lock registers) and the Identification Inputs Pins, allowing up to 16 devices to be connected at the same bus.
All the functionalities of the M50FW016 and M50LPW116 Flash memories are respectively available through firmware hub and low pin count interfaces.
An optional address/address multiplexed (A/A Mux) protocol allows faster programming time at the customer's production line.
The products are available in TSOP40 (10x20mm) package; the PLCC32 package can also be offered on demand.