Kilopass begins NVM new product rollout with Itera, fabbed in 40nm logic CMOS

April 20, 2011 – Marketwire — Kilopass Technology Inc., semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP) provider, unveiled Itera, an embedded multi-time programmable (MTP) NVM in 40nm, during the Linley Tech Mobile Conference.

Using Itera, system-on-chip (SoC) designers can achieve 70% lower costs, 24x improved performance, and improved integration by replacing external serial EEPROM and NOR flash in high-volume mobile and consumer applications. Implemented in standard CMOS with no additional process steps or wafer process adders, Itera provides up to 1 megabit (Mb) of storage capacity and 1024 cycles of re-programmability in applications such as time stamp, key revocation, firmware updates, and trimming adjustments.

Kilopass is expanding its product line to address a much broader range of applications for embedded non-volatile memory with its 2T antifuse technology. 2T antifuse technology has been integrated in over 2 billion ICs as a solution for OTP NVM. With 2T antifuse technology scaling 25X from 180nm to 20nm, the evolution of OTP to MTP was inevitable, says Kilopass. Redundancy in the memory to enable re-programmability consumes only a small percentage of the overall area due to the dramatic scaling of the 2T antifuse bit cell in advanced process nodes.

In 2010, Kilopass introduced Gusto, 4Mb one-time programmable (OTP) NVM IP, providing for the first time enough memory to store firmware and boot code traditionally stored in external serial-flash and EEPROM chips. With Itera, the company breaks new ground in bringing highly reliable, low-cost embedded logic MTP NVM to advanced process geometries used in SoCs for today’s high-volume consumer and industrial applications. New products to be released in the months ahead will continue to expand the horizons of embedded NVM, removing long-standing challenges to NVM integration across an increasing range of markets, applications and SoC designs.

SoC designs that currently require external MTP NVM to store code or configuration data that change over the life of the product can now use Itera to boost performance and reduce the bill-of-material costs and space of the final design. Itera enables a typical design to achieve a 24-fold increase in performance over Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) Flash and EEPROM solutions and realize a cost savings averaging about $6 million for a chip that achieves a 10-million unit per year run rate.

For SoCs in TVs, tablets, and a wide variety of handheld devices, Itera can store software that must be updated and changed over time. Itera can also contain the protocol stacks in SoCs for Bluetooth, 802.11, and the various wireless communications standards that enable connectivity of these devices. For radio frequency functions in these SoCs, Itera can store data for trimming analog components that change over time. Itera is also ideal for low frequency data logging — for example, counting the number of times a battery is drained and recharged, the amount of ink deposited in disposable ink jet cartridges, and other similar data acquisition applications.

"We expect within five years to have Itera replacing 25% of serial EEPROM and NOR flash in consumer and mobile designs," said Linh Hong, vice president of marketing of Kilopass Technology Inc.

Itera’s interface is an industry standard Open Core Protocol (OCP) that dramatically simplifies integration at the front-end. Many SoCs are already deploying OCP for other IPs so no proprietary or new interfaces need to be learned. Itera achieves 24X improvement in performance over discrete MTP solutions like serial SPI Flash or EEPROM. With the improved performance, Itera’s contents can be executed in place (XIP) rather than shadowed. The reliability of Itera is the same as XPM or Gusto since it is built on the same 2T antifuse technology. To serve a wide variety of applications, including automotive and industrial, the Kilopass technology has been qualified through a stringent high temperature operating life (HTOL) and high temperature storage life (HTSL) standard in process nodes including 40nm.

Itera is available in MTP capacity from 32bit to 1Mb and is now available at all major pure-play foundries including TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and UMC in 40nm bulk silicon with 65nm and 55nm in H2’11.

Kilopass Technology Inc. supplies embedded NVM intellectual property and leverages standard logic CMOS processes to deliver one-time programmable (OTP) memory. For more information, visit

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