NAND Flash memory controller solution from QuickLogic

6th February 2007
ES Admin
QuickLogic Europe announces the introduction of a full featured NAND Flash memory controller solution for its ultra-low power programmable logic families. One of many storage solutions offered by QuickLogic, the NAND solution is designed to interface with a host of application processors used in portable applications, such as the Marvell PXA2xx applications processor and Analog Devices' Blackfin DSP. This introduction extends the spectrum of QuickLogic's storage solution portfolio from various flavours of micro hard disk drives and SD Card memory to raw NAND Flash.
NAND Flash memory provides portable systems with non-volatile high capacity storage similar to hard disk drives, but with higher reliability, smaller form factor and lower energy consumption than electromechanical solutions, says Howard Li, QuickLogic's Senior Marketing Manager for Connectivity Solutions. However, some application processors, such as the PXA2xx and the BF5xx, do not have native support for NAND flash which prevents them from taking full advantage of this storage option. QuickLogic's NAND solution provides that controller functionality in silicon, achieving higher system performance and lower CPU utilization than software-based alternatives.

Based on QuickLogic's patented, ultra-low power programmable technology, the NAND Flash solution is ideal for handheld systems needing to add Flash file storage. The implementation can operate with as little as 20 mA at 1.8V and can provide throughput as fast as 12 Mbytes/sec while reading and 10 Mbytes/sec while writing. The low CPU utilization enables designers of these systems to use less costly speed grades of the application processor, and consume less energy, optimizing designs for both bill-of-materials (BOM) cost, and battery life.

QuickLogic's NAND Solution incorporates several features to ease the design of low power NAND storage systems. In support of error correction coding (ECC), the silicon incorporates automatic 1-bit error correction and 2-bit error detection. Support for hardware sector buffering, marking of bad blocks, and registers for implementation of wear levelling algorithms are also built into the silicon.

The NAND Solution supports glueless connectivity to the application processor, using a 16- or 32-bit local bus, and handles one x8 Flash device or two x8 devices in parallel. Both large and small block Flash devices from leading flash vendors such as Samsung and Toshiba may be used with the NAND Solution. Software drivers are available for both Linux and WinCE.

QuickLogic's NAND Flash controller solution can be implemented in the company's low power PolarPro FPGA technology for $2 in high volume.

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