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XPM Embedded Memory Technology

Authored on: Aug 22, 2005 by Craig Rawlings and Charles Ng

Technical Paper / Product Paper

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Embedded Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) is used in many, if not most, IC applications, but its use has been hampered by a major shortcoming: NVM technology is not compatible with standard-logic CMOS processes. NVM adds cost to a logic process by adding processing steps and also typically lags leading logic process geometries by a few generations. Finally, in an era of increased concerns over intellectual property theft, embedded NVM susceptibility to being read by microscopy has become yet another drawback to its use in a range of applications.

Kilopass Technology develops and markets advanced field-programmable embedded NVM IP (intellectual property) blocks. These memory cores are unique in that they are fabricated using standard-logic CMOS processes rather than requiring the extra mask steps of other non-volatile offerings. This enables whole new classes of applications that, until now, excluded on-chip NVM logic. Standard CMOS NVM blocks also provide a cost-competitive alternative to Flash for storing firmware and operational parameters in hundreds of millions of cell phones and other portable devices.

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