AMD Announces Architectural Breakthrough in Flash Memory
--Mirror Bit Architecture to Deliver Low Cost, Ultra High Density Flash Products Without Compromise--
SUNNYVALE, CA --
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced a breakthrough in memory cell architecture that enables a Flash memory product to hold twice as much data as standard Flash, without compromising device endurance, performance or reliability. The first product featuring AMD's new Mirror Bit architecture is scheduled for introduction during the first quarter of 2002. The product is designed to offer a low cost, highly reliable solution that is pin-compatible with today's standard three-volt (low voltage - LV) products, thereby allowing a customer to reap the benefits of the Mirror Bit architecture without changing their system design. Virtually every application that employs an LV Flash memory product can benefit from AMD's Mirror Bit architecture.
Built on AMD's industry-leading technology, the Mirror Bit architecture delivers the low cost structure of a multi-level cell (MLC) solution without any of the drawbacks of MLC. The Mirror Bit architecture's ability to store two bits of data in one cell, without compromising data integrity, is achieved by dividing each standard cell into two discrete and independent units where the data is stored in physically distinct locations.
Today's technology announcement is the result of years of research and development on the design, processing, testing and characterization of multi-bit cells that have culminated in AMD's patented Mirror Bit architecture. Mirror Bit memory cells, which store a full charge in each of two physically distinct locations, offer many advantages over MLCs that store fractional levels of charge in one location. Since each bit in the Mirror Bit memory cell is physically in a different location, the bits are independent and do not interact with each other, allowing AMD to offer the same performance and reliability as standard single-bit Flash memory products. The Mirror Bit architecture also overcomes the inherent reliability issues, slow random access and long programming times of MLC technology.
"Multi-bit technology has been the Holy Grail of Flash memory and this architecture represents a major landmark in the evolution of non-volatile memories," said Walid Maghribi, AMD's senior vice president and president of the company's Memory Group. "AMD, Fujitsu and FASL, have dedicated an army of engineers that have worked around the world and around the clock to achieve this extraordinary engineering feat. This tremendous achievement sets us on the path to producing 1-Gigabit Flash memory products."
AMD's planned family of products based on the Mirror Bit architecture will include products from 64-Mbit through 1-Gbit. This product family will include two new performance-enhancing features designed to remove the data input and output bottlenecks inherent to ultra high-density devices. These products will feature a write buffer that allows significantly faster programming than today's fastest Flash memory products and a page read buffer that allows page mode access times as fast as 20 ns. AMD plans to introduce its first Mirror Bit-based, 64-Mb Flash memory products during the first quarter of 2002, with 256-Mb products to follow in the third quarter of 2002.
"These products will offer our customers the opportunity to benefit from an outstanding cost structure without compromising on the quality or the ease-of-use they have come to expect from AMD," said Kevin Plouse, vice president of technical marketing and business development for AMD's Memory Group. "The greatest advantage to our customers is that these products are engineered to retain AMD's high standards of reliability and performance while maintaining complete pin-compatibility with existing sockets."
AMD Flash Memory Awards
AMD's Flash memory products have received numerous customer service, quality and technology awards. The most recent Flash memory awards include: Cisco Systems' highest customer satisfaction recognition - the Cisco President's Award, the Nortel 2000 "Supplier of the Year" award, the Samsung 2000 "Best Supplier" award, the Volkswagen 1999 "Leading Edge" award and the Cisco 1999 "Semiconductor Supplier of the Year" award.
About AMD Flash Memory Devices
AMD technology is employed by the world's largest producer of Flash memory devices, Fujitsu AMD Semiconductor Ltd. (FASL). AMD Flash memory products encompass a broad spectrum of densities and features to support a wide range of markets. AMD Flash memory customers represent leaders in the automotive, networking, telecommunications, and handheld mobile terminal markets. AMD offers many Flash memory products, such as the award-winning Simultaneous Read-Write (SRW) product family; Super Low Voltage 1.8V Flash memory devices; and Burst- and Page-Mode devices. AMD developed the robust Known Good Die (KGD) program and the patented negative gate erase technology, and refined the industry-standard Fine-pitch Ball Grid Array (FBGA).
All AMD Flash memory devices are guaranteed by AMD for a minimum of one million write cycles per sector and 20 years' data retention, making them the most reliable non-volatile memory devices in the industry.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy awarded AMD an Energy Star® Certificate of Recognition for its energy-efficient Flash memory products. Such products help manufacturers meet stringent Energy Star specifications for a variety of appliances, equipment and other products. Products with the Energy Star label are designed to use less energy, save money and help protect the environment.