March 7, 2005 -- UMC and Virage Logic Corp. have announced the availability of Virage Logic's patented Non-Volatile Electrically Alterable (NOVeA) embedded memories for production on UMC's 0.18-micron CMOS logic process. NOVeA is the first commercially available embedded in system reprogrammable non- volatile memory (NVM) that is manufactured on a standard 0.18um CMOS logic process without any additional masks or process steps. UMC has completed qualification of Virage Logic's non-volatile memories for its 0.18-micron process in order to support customers who need cost-effective embedded NVM for security, encryption, unique device identification, analog trimming, and silicon repair.
UMC will offer NOVeA through its Gold IP catalog in which IP is categorized from Bronze to Gold according to guidelines that indicate the level of integration and experience UMC has with each IP offering. Gold ratings, which NOVeA has achieved, are the highest available and indicate the IP has been in mass production at UMC. NOVeA's Gold rating follows a longstanding partnership between the two companies whereby Virage Logic's Self-Test and Repair (STAR) Memory System and Area, Speed and Power (ASAP) Memory product lines have been offered to customers on UMC's 0.13, 0.15, and 0.18um processes. UMC now offers NOVeA to its foundry customers to embed in their SoCs. NOVeA RAM offers fast 10ns access time and 10-year data retention. Unlike traditional embedded Flash memory, NOVeA eliminates the need for additional process steps and masks, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and delivery time. Sub-micron NOVeA technology can help UMC customers reduce system size, lower power consumption and increase performance and security.
"UMC and Virage Logic's support combined with Virage Logic's leadership in embedded memory semiconductor IP design has enabled us to drive down not only the overall cost and size of the system, but also helped us get to market more quickly and efficiently," said Hugh Chow, vice president of engineering, ViXS Systems. "We selected the NOVeA embedded memories because enhanced security measures such as key encryption storage are critical for many of our Video Streaming applications. With NOVeA, we now have a more efficient and cost effective way to securely encrypt information, which is critical, especially in some of the emerging markets we are targeting."
As the first non-volatile, electrically alterable embedded memory solution that can be produced using a standard logic process with no additional mask or process steps, NOVeA is designed to be readily integrated into today's most advanced SoC designs manufactured on leading edge deep submicron processes.
NOVeA employs a patented single poly floating gate Fowler-Nordheim technology for writing. NOVeA includes a powerful controller and instruction set in an architecture that provides 100% cell redundancy. The result is an extremely reliable, high yielding embedded NVM that can be manufactured on standard CMOS logic processes with ultra low manufacturing cost and power consumption.
NOVeA RAM can be reprogrammed in-system up to 10,000 times, has specified endurance of 10 years and is designed for integration into deep submicron SoCs.
Pricing and Availability
Virage Logic's NOVeA is available for customer designs today on UMC's 0.18-micron CMOS logic process. Single instance pricing starts at $125,000.
Go to the Virage Logic Corp. website to find additional information.