Macronix Introduces World’s First 256Mbit Serial Flash

Macronix International Co., Ltd. (TSE: 2337), the number one Serial Flash supplier, today continues it’s leadership and innovation in the Serial Flash market by announcing the world’s first 256-megabit(Mbit) Serial Flash product. This new 256Mbit product, MX25L25635E, will allow system designers and manufacturers to offer greater functionality and performance in their products. Based on an innovative 32-bit addressing scheme, Macronix has created a simple way to extend the Serial Flash density beyond 128Mbit while supporting the existing 24-bit addressing for backward compatibility.

The new 256Mbit Serial Flash provides a small form factor, low pin count, and reduces the overall system cost in many of today’s applications, like networking, set-top box, and servers. "Macronix has enhanced its leadership position in Serial Flash by being the first company to offer the highest density 256Mbit product in the market," said Alan Niebel, CEO and founder of Web-Feet Research. "The Serial Flash market is the fastest growing NOR Flash segment increasing from $645M in 2009 and with the addition of the 256Mbit Serial part it should reach $2,036M by 2014."

Serial Flash products are currently based on a 24-bit addressing protocol which caps the maximum density at 128Mbit. However, as manufacturers introduce complex and feature rich products, their memory requirements are changing and system designers are looking for densities greater than 128Mbit to store their code and/or applications. With the current architecture there is no viable solution to this issue.

Macronix is the first Serial Flash company to break through the 128Mbit density barrier. The 256Mbit Serial Flash uses a combination of 24-bit and 32-bit addressing to maintain backward compatibility. The new 256Mbit part powers up like a 128Mbit device in 24-bit mode and a user can switch to 32-bit addressing as needed. Using this method, a system designer will not have to completely rewrite the software.

"Many of the newer markets including VoIP network processors require high density Flash memory" said Shahin Rohani, Director of Applications & Customer Solutions at TranSwitch Corporation. "Recognizing Macronix as a leader in Serial Flash and the first company to introduce the highest density 256Mbit Serial Flash, we are looking forward to using these devices in our upcoming designs."

The Macronix 256Mbit Serial Flash product is targeted for feature rich applications that require higher storage space and performance, while maintaining the low pin count and overall system cost. Some of these applications are networking systems, WiMax, set-top box, servers, high-end projectors, Digital TVs and similar products. Another key market is FPGAs, where a large amount of code needs to be downloaded from Flash.

The new 256Mbit Serial Flash not only enhances the density, but also offers high performance through Macronix Serial Multi-I/O (MXSMIO(TM)). The MX25L25635E supports single, dual, and quad I/O capability for higher throughput while maintaining the same package and pin numbers of traditional Serial Flash. This fast performance makes the 256Mbit device ideal for code and user data storage, and is capable of code XIP (execute-in-place) directly from Flash.

The MX25L25635E, 256Mbit Multi I/O Serial Flash is sampling in October and mass production is scheduled for December 2009. The advanced datasheet is available online at .


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