In many applications, non-volatile memory needs are addressed by general-purpose, serial-interface electrically erasable programmable read-only memories (EEPROMs) or flash memory devices, especially since they offer low pin-count, small packages, low voltage operation, and low power consumption. Nevertheless, designers still face the challenge of reducing board space and total system cost.

Many of the uses for these memory devices are related to system configuration, manufacturing, and security. The functionality provided by serial EEPROMs and some flash devices in these applications can be integrated into a MAX II CPLD, which offers an 8-Kbit flash storage block called the user flash memory (UFM). The UFM allows users to integrate existing serial EEPROMs on a board, reducing total system cost, minimizing board space, and offering higher reliability and better manufacturability. This paper explains how the UFM supported in MAX II CPLDs offers several key benefits over existing serial EEPROMs and flash memory devices.