Winbond adds 64Mbit memory option to 1.2V SPI NOR flash family 

Offering larger code storage capacity and active mode power saving, the W25Q64NE 1.2V SpiFlash IC is suitable for wireless consumer devices such as True Wireless earbuds and fitness wristbands, said Winbond Electronics.

The IC is a 64Mbit density IC from the company which claims to have been the first flash memory manufacturer to introduce a 1.2V SPI NOR flash device which operates over an extended 1.14 to 1.6V supply range, making it compatible with a single alkaline AA battery cell’s output-voltage profile. By extending the 1.2V NOR flash family to include a 64Mbit part, Winbond addresses the requirements of smart devices with a larger code footprint. The W25Q64NE is available for sampling. The company offers a choice of small package sizes, such as USON8-3×4 and WLCSP in industry-standard packages and pin-outs.

According to Winbond battery run-time has become a crucial differentiating factor in consumer purchase decisions for new product types such as wireless earbuds and smart watches.

The Winbond 1.2V parts are claimed to reduce active mode power consumption by a third compared to equivalent 1.8V devices. Typically, 99 per cent of total power consumption in mobile and wearable devices is in active mode, so using the 1.2V NOR flash parts means manufacturers of devices with a very small battery, such as True Wireless earbuds or fitness wristbands, can extend run-time between battery charges. 

In active read mode at an operating frequency of 50MHz, a 1.8V SpiFlash has an operating current of 4mA which results in power consumption of 7.2mW. Operating at 1.2V and drawing the same read mode current of 4mA at 50MHz, the W25Q64NE’s power consumption is just 4.8mW, for a 33 per cent power saving when replacing 1.8V flash.

The system design also offers additional benefits. As the SoC process evolves to more advanced technology, the I/O voltage of SoCs is becoming lower than 1.8V and will require a level-shifter to connect to a traditional 1.8V/3.0V SPI flash. This results in additional costs and adds to the complexity of the system design. By using a 1.2V flash device, the SoC can connect directly to the SPI flash without a level shifter, reducing the bill of materials (BoM) cost and the amount of PCB space it occupies. 

The standard SPI NOR interface offers a maximum data transfer rate of 42Mbytes per second. Its flexible architecture includes 4kbyte sectors with uniform sector and block erase. 

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