The growth in smart phones and netbook PCs has opened up opportunities in the memory space that few companies are addressing. But memory giant Micron and its partner Nanya Technology are going after this segment in a big way. Their new low-power DDR2 (LPDDR2) specifically targets mobile Internet devices (MIDs) seeking longer battery life and improved overall performance.

The companies trimmed the technology’s operating voltage from 1.8 to 1.2 V, reducing power consumption by as much as 50%. On top of that, the LPDDR2 RAM will run at 400- and 533-MHz clock speeds, instead of the lower 133- or 166-MHz speed of LPDDR1 devices. This results in a data transfer speed up to 1066 Mbits/s, which boosts application performance. It also allows more functions to run simultaneously without sacrificing performance. Micron is now sampling its 32 by 1-Gbit die with a 512-Mbit version forthcoming. Designers can even stack the die to achieve a 4-Gbit package.

Micron also recently announced its new 34-nm NAND flash products, giving designers a NAND-based multichip package (MCP) with up to 16 Gbytes of multilevel cell (MLC) NAND for high-end mobile phones. Micron can stack up to eight die to deliver as much as 16 Gbytes of flash, eliminating the need to include an external card slot in some phone designs and saving up to 40% in printed-circuit board (PCB) space in a phone (Fig. 1).

The 2-Gbit single-level cell (SLC) NAND, LPDDR RAM, and Micron’s e-MMC all can be stacked. The e-MMC features one controller with four of the 32-Gbyte, 34-nm NAND die (Fig. 2). These options let designers offer more storage and features without sacrificing handset form factor or performance.

Additionally, Micron’s NANDcode family of software helps designers integrate the larger, faster flash into their products. The software supports all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Mobile 6, Linux, and Symbian. With NAND increasingly being used for storing boot code, call logs and contact information, photos, music, and other cached data, there is an increasing need to manage NAND to extend its life and ensure good performance over time. The NANDcode software does that and includes security features that can be used to restrict access to selected data.

Nanya Technology

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