Toshiba Expands Memory Product Portfolio, Targets Vertical Markets

Toshiba has updated its memory portfolio with a range of TX03-series products, including ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers aimed at various vertical markets, an SD card that only allows users to copy data onto it once, and NAND flash memories based on 19-nm process technology.

Toshiba on Thursday launched its TX03-series microcontrollers based on ARM’s Cortex-M3 core architecture. Toshiba’s Cortex-ME microcontrollers feature 1 MB of flash memory, 64 bytes of on-board RAM, and a 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter and timers. The device offers integrated USB 2.0 as well as CAN functionality and several serial bus interface options.

Toshiba is launching a general purpose 32-bit Cortex M330 microcontroller at the price of 8-bit microcontrollers, as well as the M350 for users in the automotive industry, and the M350 micontroller for industrial and communication applications that features built-in memory, USB, and Ethernet connectivity. Toshiba is also marketing its M370 microcontroller for motor control applications, its M380 for industrial and home applications, and its M390 for small form factor solutions requiring low power consumption levels.

The ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit RISC core processor featured in Toshiba’s new microcontroller device runs at up to 144 MHz clock speed and can support up to 3 MBs of integrated DRAM. Toshiba’s ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers come in different formats depending on the devices in which they are incorporated, including 100-pin QFP, 100-pin LQFP and 144-pin QFP. It is the first processor to come to market to include ARM’S v7-M architecture, which combine’s increased performance with ARM’s energy-efficient, low-power design.

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Meanwhile, Toshiba on Thursday released a once-write SD card to users in Japan only. The write-once SD card is an external storage device that allows uers to store data only once -- without the option to modify, delete, or over-write that information. Although its value proposition may seem counter-intuitive to some users, governments and some businesses seeking security and reliability in their storage solutions are likely to leverage write-once SD cards in their applications.

A Toshiba spokesperson contacted by CRN declined to comment as to whether the device is coming to market in the U.S. in the near future.

Next: 19-nm Process Technology

Finally, last week Toshiba launched high-densitey NAND flash memory based on a 19-nm technology, a significant step in the development of smaller die sizes and more mobile-conducive fabrication processes. The company says it will market 3-bit-per-cell products based on its 19-nm process that feature the highest memory density and the smallest form factor of any solution on the market, and will be featured inside smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. According ot Toshiba, 19-nm process technology also supports Toggle DDR 2.0 data transfer technology.

Toshiba said samples of its 2-bit-per-cell 64-gigabit products based on 19-nm process technology will be available by the end of the month and will go into mass production in the summer. Toshiba says higher-density Flash memory products will allow it to accelerate NAND flash process migration and establish its leadership in the market.

Last week Intel and Micron unveiled plans to build a 22-nm NAND Flash facility . The $3 billion plant, located in Singapore, is part of Intel and Micron’s joint IM Flash venture and is a reflection of the growing demand for mobile device technology. Mutual Micron and Intel rival Samsung has parlayed its advantage in that segment into a challenge to Intel’s leadership in the semiconductor industry as a whole, underscoring the relevance of memory products and the reduction of memory fabrication processes.