SANTA CLARA, USA: Kilopass Technology Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP), has announced Gusto, the industry’s first and only 4-megabit (Mb) one-time programmable (OTP) NVM IP.
Gusto is the only NVM IP large enough to store the firmware and boot code traditionally stored in external serial-flash and EEPROM chips. It is ideal for cost-, power- and form factor-sensitive applications, including mobile application processors and multimedia processors, as well as for high-security applications such as mobile banking and conditional access.
Kilopass has successfully taped out Gusto 40nm test chips at three leading foundries – IBM, TSMC, and UMC. Initial silicon data is available now, and qualified proven silicon will be available later this year.
Gusto eliminates the limitations of traditional embedded NVM technology, including poor scalability to advanced processes and capacity limitations of less than 128Kb. Moreover, it does not require the complex manufacturing technology changes generally required by today’s traditional embedded NVM. Instead, using standard CMOS manufacturing processes, Gusto scales to meet embedded NVM size and complexity challenges that grow exponentially as SoCs migrate to 40nm, and soon 28nm.
“Gusto is an exciting new product generation for our customers,” said Charlie Cheng, CEO of Kilopass. “By expanding capacity by 4X to 4Mb, Gusto enables a new level of integration. Customers now can integrate the embedded NVM into the SoC, eliminating the cost, power consumption, and space of external NVM.
“We estimate that 30 percent of the $5 billion dollars worth of serial flash and EEPROM products shipped in 2009 was used in applications that required capacity of up to 4Mb. Gusto expands our available market from just $100 million with our existing XPM product family to almost $500 million.”
Gusto, with 4X the capacity of the industry’s previous largest NVM IP, can store and safeguard firmware code critical to vertical applications – code that delivers vital differentiating functionality.
It builds on the expertise that Kilopass gained with its XPM product – the industry’s most proven, most secure, and most reliable OTP NVM IP. The technology behind Gusto has been qualified more than 30 times at a dozen different semiconductor manufacturers in processes ranging from 180nm to 40nm. Kilopass licensees have shipped an estimated 1 billion chips since 2005, using XPM in small capacities to store critical permanent data such as calibration, yield recovery, security ID, and cryptography engine code.
Market-leading capacity, power, and performance
Gusto leverages much of the proven technology of Kilopass’ existing XPM technology, including the memory bit cell technology. Lee Cleveland, vice president of engineering at Kilopass Technology, said: “Several system-level architectural improvements enable major increases in capacity and significantly improve performance. For example, an improved error-correction scheme both reduces overhead by 7X and improves the overall yield.
“In addition, other architectural changes reduced access time, power dissipation and improved programming time. Consequently, Gusto’s effective bit density is four times that of the previous largest NVM IP and the performance is enhanced in every important category.”
Besides density and capacity, Gusto also delivers the high performance and low power necessary for continuous operation in an SoC, as opposed to traditional NVM IP, which is used primarily for initialization and other occasional-use utilities. Gusto’s circuit design optimizations and synchronous timing enable it to deliver a 4X improvement in performance, reduce active power by more than 10X and slash standby power by 40X.
Gusto’s pricing model will closely follow that of Kilopass’ existing XPM product, which includes a non-recurring engineering (NRE) fee for making Gusto available in a particular semiconductor manufacturing technology, a license fee for the use of Gusto in a design, and a per wafer royalty.
Gusto is available now with IBM, TSMC, and UMC as three initial foundry partners for 40nm bulk silicon and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) processes – with more to come in 2010.