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Embedded NVM to improve power management flexibility

Print View , by: iSee ,Total views: 24 ,Word Count: 1688 ,Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 Time: 4:03 AM

Top electronics market is a common feature (such as RF, display driver, security, media and power management): they are in a very short window to operate within the market, and raced to offer a variety of differentiated value-added products to light the actual growth. However, they also share other important properties: has many applications, more cost-effective or through the integration of small-count bit (small bit-count) multiple programming non-volatile memory (NVM) and improve performance. In addition, the embedded NVM in improving manufacturability, shorten time to market and improve product quality to contribute. Clearly, the embedded NVM is that these extremely competitive market, the main contest winner. Power management is no exception, but, as we have seen, ordinary NVM can not.

Move to a more logical NVM

Although today's design engineers can choose a variety of NVM, however, has a low-cost, high performance and flexible embedded NVM applications are few. For some applications, goals, ruled out the possibility of many options. For example, while the traditional laser fuse may be appropriate in a single digital bit, but they are one-time programmed by the factory and can not repeat the precise analog trimming can not be on-site upgrades, do not have the reliability. Fuse many of the shortcomings of a lot of very detailed introduction to the literature.

flash memory is a better option, but the cost is not low, its need for additional processes to manufacture the NVM infrastructure cost as much as several hundred dollars per wafer. On the other hand, EEPROM applications has been quite a long time, and as such, it is relatively cheap; but it is not your choice, select it when you consider the time and found it subject to the older process technology, performance is also restricted to an unacceptable low level. The newer varieties of embedded EEPROM, and flash memory similar to the need for additional mask layers and process steps, therefore, the older generation technology, the cost advantage vanished.

In the important markets in many of the popular players have turned to in order to Logic CMOS process technology program designed to NVM. Logic CMOS process technology and power management is not only a hot market like the application directly to the objectives compatible with CMOS processes, but also has a strong portfolio of high-performance and low cost make it ideal for embedded NVM.

Power management options and trade-offs

The use of advanced semiconductor process technology, capable of very high level of integration and low-voltage work, but for these chips to provide power management faces special challenges. For high-performance microprocessors, the current demand for exponential growth, their development and even be faster and faster clock rates drive. With the current processor is far greater than 100A, the chip level and system-level design, for accurate, low-noise power supply and power control the demand for flexibility has become a focus of attention.

For the power management IC design engineers, despite the costs have become a major concern, but ultimately to find a comprehensive consideration of the design architecture, die size and process technology convergence points to design a small-count bit NVM (typical value is 512 bytes). In the case of power management IC, and the older process technology (such as 0.35um) certainly the lowest cost, but their performance is quite low, and the lack of a leading library and intellectual property (IP) availability, and thus can not be competitive differentiation advantage. Similarly, they can not meet the aggressive and innovative design objectives.

On the one hand, the leading process technology (from 90nm to 60nm) in very specific applications, was dominated by these processes are very expensive, not to mention the long-term design process for these plans will require a concurrent risk of important components of quality cell libraries Certification (will need to take risks without the use of quality certification in many important cell library components). Because the final cost and delivery time on the market, the potential impact of, for most applications, the moment the best design carefully.

On the other hand, 0.25um logic CMOS process (down with 0.18um and 0.13um) easily meet the power management IC design on cost, performance and database availability objectives and requirements, these technologies are both highly advanced and stable. In addition, its high degree of popularity, with competitive cost advantages; equally important is that it can use proven, consistent quality standards (or about to be quality certification) advanced NVM module.

With regard to the design architecture side of the equation, in the reference voltage and current, amplifier bias, and other simulation parameters set in, NVM has become so attractive with a unit, so its application has in fact been the emerging PMBus (Power Management Bus) standard rule. Take advantage of this new type of digital power management protocol, PMBus commands are used to set the power of the working parameters (through programmed NVM), to monitor the work process and also in response to an error in the implementation of the correct operation. In this case, the small count-bit NVM should be obvious to the average casual observations. The default channel voltage, pull-up and pull-down resistors direction and type of the characteristics of the various GPIO voltage ramp frequency, opening and closing sequences, etc. These can be configured with a value, are an effective and easily stored in the embedded NVM being.

The accurate calibration of digital voltage regulator and switching circuits demand-driven, if needed, the value in the production process is the best way to write a short film on the NVM being. At this point not only to the entire memory, programming and testing, but also stored in NVM and to verify the specific configuration settings, and thus greatly enhance the power management module of the final test yields. Finally, when products are upgraded or reconfigured at the scene when the firmware patch will also be a great support for NVM content.

This summary

Before and after renovation to upgrade from analog-site products, multi-time programmable NVM provides an important function, not only innovative tools, but also practical device. In the power management market, like the popular applications, means that manufacturers can be many times during the development cycle to re-program the device, allowing the flexibility to quickly respond to changing market demands, not to mention at the scene to simplify manufacturing operations, improve performance the benefits of, and correct the problem.

Embedded NVM to improve power management flexibility

The use of a number of applications for the optimized structure and use from 16-256 (with numerous options) configurations, Impinj's AEON NVM embedded program is suitable for power management applications, reduce costs, improve performance, increase functionality, to enhance security, improve reliability and reduce time to market. Through the use of advanced CMOS process technology common, AEON NVM does not require additional mask layers or processing steps (with a different flash memory or EEPROM); and with the OTP / multi-state fuse (poly fuse) schemes, it can be compiled on many occasions Cheng.

Impinj's AEON technology using CMOS logic, multi-time programmable NVM is Primarion, DiPOL PX7510 Power Management Controller SoC design of key components.

From the integration of Impinj's AEON NVM is particularly suitable for Primarion the company's power management applications, which only requires very little memory.

Integrated NVM can greatly reduce the overall cost of external flash memory and circuit board area.

Impinj's AEON NVM in standard logic CMOS processes to achieve, with no additional processing steps.

To establish power management standard PMBus

Despite the relatively short history of PMBus, but the initiative has received overwhelming support. Just over a year ago, in March 2005, the official 1.0 version of the protocol specification on by the system Management interface Forum, Inc. released. The time of writing this article, accept PMBus companies have risen from 8 to 24, and includes many well-known semiconductor companies and power management companies, of which several have been introduced to the market in line with PMBus products.

PMBus is defined with the power converter or digital communications IC common language or protocol. Although the PMBus specification does not address specific products, it is generally recognized as the most successful product implementation should adopt some kind of NVM. Its driving force is: OEM needs can arbitrarily re-programmed, flexible turn-key program, rather than the hardware needs to be done to change or PCB re-design. On-chip NVM also allows for generic power management IC or a converter program to have a number of unique features, thus greatly reducing the number of a variety of SKU, and to simplify OEM or sub-contract manufacturer's inventory management.

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