Kilopass Announces Embedded Logic NVM for SoCs

Gusto Delivers 4Mb One-Time-Programmable Ultra-Secure Storage for Consumer and Mobile applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 2, 2010 – Kilopass Technology Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP), today 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 Technology. “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 $5B 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 $100M with our existing XPM product family to almost $500M.”

 

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.

 

Pricing & Availability

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.

 

What the Analysts Say

According to industry analysts focused on semiconductor IP: huge data capacity, reduced power consumption, and failsafe security – three key Gusto features – are essential for mobile and other advanced applications:   

 

 “The industry’s ability to proliferate ever-more sophisticated mobile devices hinges on both their processing capability and the software that provides differentiating functionality – with firmware vital to both. The additional on-chip memory capacity and significant security improvements from companies such as Kilopass are a significant step toward meeting worldwide consumer demand for more and more software-rich mobile, wireless and multimedia applications.”

– Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts

 

“NVM is being increasingly deployed in a variety of high volume SoC applications that require high-density code, large data-storage capacity, and long data-retention periods. These applications mandate a small memory footprint, high software security, and technology scalability to leading-edge process nodes. The current leading NVM technology, embedded flash, cannot meet these requirements because at the 90nm process node and below, decreasing oxide thickness results in increased charge leakage and reduced data retention. Moreover, it also does not meet the cost, power consumption and data security objectives.”

– Ganesh Ramamoorthy, principal research analyst at Gartner

 

“The two main drivers of the IC market, PCs and cell phones, are poised to register strong growth in 2010. The cell phone market is moving increasingly toward 3G cell phones, which contain much higher IC content than 2.5G cell phones. A lot of this IC content will be aimed at increasing processing capability, and will include extensive SoC integration. This requires enhanced security in BIOS code and RFID – and the industry needs new technology to address this need.”

– Brian Matas, vice president of IC Insights

 

“Feature-laden consumer electronics, emerging memory semiconductor applications, and other applications in the electronics value chain require more and more software capacity and security. This trend is only going to accelerate in the future.”

– Jordan Selburn, principal analyst Consumer Platforms at iSuppli, El Segundo, California

 

“At the right cost/performance points, we will see an explosion of applications such as digital rights management that can rely heavily on NVM for security and M-banking. Security is a huge issue, with IP needing to migrate over several generations, and discrete parts simply can’t fulfill most of these requirements given the increasing pressure to integrate features and functions into ever-smaller footprints. Therefore, there’s a critical need for good NVM at the lower fabrication process nodes. Simultaneously, board space and power consumption must be reduced. Offerings such as Gusto could go a long way toward addressing those needs.”

– Rich Wawrzyniak, senior analyst at Semico Research

 

About Kilopass

Kilopass Technology, Inc. pioneered and supplies the industry’s only non-volatile, reprogrammable memory large enough to store firmware code. With 54 patents granted or pending, and more than 500,000 wafers shipped by a dozen foundries and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs), Kilopass has more than 80 customers designing semiconductor components and equipment for mobile communications, multimedia/entertainment, and networking applications. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information, please visit http://www.kilopass.com or email info@kilopass.com.

Gusto™, XPM™ and XPM Xtend™ are trademarks of Kilopass Technology Inc. All other trade names and trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

 

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