Micron boosts SPI NOR flash density

Semiconductor specialist Micron has announced what it claims is the world's highest-density SPI NOR flash memory, boosting the capabilities of device designs using the company's existing products massively.

Currently, Micron's N25Q Serial Peripheral Interface NOR memory family hits its peak with a 32Mb chip, but the company's latest release boosts the capacity to 256Mb, 512Mb, or 1Gb while retaining pin and software compatibility - meaning it's a drop-in replacement for OEMS who want to boost the capacity of their devices.

The move comes despite Micron's efforts to shift its customers - who use the technology in embeded systems - from SPI NOR to Serial NAND, which it claims is fully compatible with the four-signal SPI standard but offers higher densities and lowered cost-per-megabyte. That's a strong case, but it's not a move that the industry has been quick to make.

"The NOR market continues to trend toward SPI devices," admitted Micron's Tom Eby, vice president of the Embedded Solutions Group, "with analysts estimating that more than half of NOR revenue will be SPI by 2013. Micron's high-density N25Q products further solidify our commitment to the NOR market and position us well to continue capturing increased share in the SPI segment."

The SPI NOR chips, available in 1.8V and 3V versions, offer 54MB/s transfer rates for read operations at a 108MHz clock speed - the highest speed available in the industry, the company claims - and 500KB/s program speed, with execute-in-place capability for running code directly from the flash memory without transferring it first to RAM.