Semiconductor devices use non-volatile memory (NVM) to store its boot and firmware code. As SoC designs become more complex with added features, higher performance, and lower power, more semiconductor devices today use software to quickly adapt to market changes and enhance product differentiation. The adoption rate and size of the usage of NVM continue to grow. For code storage, the most common NVM technologies are ROM and external flash/EEPROM solutions. Following closely, antifuse one-time programmable (OTP) technology is becoming more popular for code storage, especially in the 90nm and below. Antifuse has unique advantages of using a standard CMOS process, being highly secure, field programmable, and having indefinite data retention. These traits drive down overall cost of the SOC product. As the process technology scales, it will favor antifuse since the OTP die area will scale, resulting in shorter programming time.

In this paper you will learn how antifuse NVM technology evolves with process scaling and its opportunities and challenges in high-density use.