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Move over NAND, there's a new Flash in town

Spansion Inc. (CODE), a clever flash memory spinoff from Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Fujitsu Ltd. (TYO:6702), announced this week plans to expand its relationship with XMC, a top Chinese third party fab.  The pair will aim to produce 32 nm class NOR Flash memory devices.

John Kispert, President and CEO of Spansion remarks, "MC has proven to be a strong partner for Spansion and is a critical component of our manufacturing strategy. The agreement with XMC will help Spansion meet the industry’s growing demand for advanced Flash memory solutions across a range of embedded applications.  The combination of our leading edge 32nm technology and their manufacturing expertise will deliver innovative and high-quality products that will drive differentiation for our embedded customers."

While the Sunnyvale, California-based company does maintain a flagship manufacturing facility in Austin Texas, since 2008 it has been sourcing much of its chip production to XMC's Chinese fabs.

That cost-saving relationship helped Spansion survive its 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization.

Spansion NOR
Spansion's MirrorBit technology alleviates the NOR flash format's lower bit density.

Spansion and XMC currently produce 45 nm NOR.  Unlike the more prevalent NAND flash, NOR flash memory does not degrade on reads.  Further its reads are at DRAM like speeds.  Spansion is currently sell 8 GB NOR flash parts, many of which come packaged in DIMM-style sticks.

NOR memory does have some key disadvantages.  It's more expensive than NAND flash.  Further, it takes up more space.  But Spansion has mitigated the later issue somewhat via a technology called "MirrorBit", which packs a second bit of storage into each cell.

The firm plans to air its proprietary 32nm MirrorBit Charge Trap Technology in 2015.

Source: Spansion





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