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Toshiba develops new technologies, gears up for IoT products

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 8 Jul 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Toshiba has developed two new process technologies for microcontrollers and wireless communication ICs.

The vendor has developed a flash memory embedded process based on 65nm logic process, which reportedly uses less power than current mainstream technology, and a single-poly non-volatile memory (NVM) process based on 130nm logic and analogue power process.

Applying the optimal process to applications will allow Toshiba to expand its product line-up in such areas as microcontrollers, wireless communication ICs, motor controller drivers and power supply ICs, the company says.

Sample shipments of the 130nm-NVM and 65nm- flash are scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2015 and the 2nd quarter of 2016, respectively.

The IoT market is seeing strong demand for low power consumption in areas including wearable and healthcare-related equipment, Toshiba says.

In response, Toshiba has adopted SST's third-generation SuperFlash cell technology, in combination with its own 65nm logic process technology.

The company has also fine-tuned circuits and manufacturing processes in developing its ultra-low power consumption flash embedded logic process.

Microcontrollers for consumer and industrial applications that apply the process can lower power consumption to approximately 60% that of current mainstream technology, Toshiba says.

Following the first series of microcontrollers, Toshiba plans to release sample BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) products, the short-range wireless technology, in fiscal year 2016.

The company also plans to apply the 65nm process to its wireless communication IC product family that can optimise use of low power consumption characteristics, including NFC (Near Field Communication) controllers, and contactless cards.

In addition to low power consumption advantage, the process technology contributes to shorter development time, as application software can be written and rewritten to flash memory during development.

Engineering advances in devices offering ultra-low power consumption to promote further development of specialised flash peripheral circuit technology and of logic and analogue circuit technology, Toshiba plans to meet continuing growth in demand for low-power applications.

The company aims to lower power consumption for entire systems, targeting 50μA/MHz operation, and to develop products for IoT.

In applications where significant cost reductions are a concern, Toshiba has developed an NVM embedded process that adopts YMC’s single-poly MTP (Multi-time programmable) cells on Toshiba’s 130nm logic process technology.

"Applying MTP specifications for write times improves the new process’s performance while limiting increased steps in mask pattern lithography to three or fewer, and even none.

"NVM and analogue circuits are embedded on a single chip that can incorporate multiple functions conventionally executed by a multi-chip system. This reduces the number of terminals and realises smaller packages," Toshiba says.

By using MTP to adjust output accuracy, Toshiba will expand its product line-up in fields where higher accuracy is essential, such as power management ICs.

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