Is this the ultimate memory solution for intelligent IoT devices ?

03-10-2016 | Adesto | Semiconductors

Adesto Technologies has introduced EcoXiP, a new eXecute-in-Place (XiP) non-volatile memory (NVM) that replaces expensive, energy-inefficient architectures, making power and performance trade-offs unnecessary in a wide range of connected devices. EcoXiP more than doubles processor speed, lowers system power consumption and reduces system cost, says the company. Internet of things (IoT) devices such as wearables, medical monitors, and other connected embedded systems must be designed to handle more intelligent local data processing. The associated higher levels of functionality, new wireless protocol stacks and advanced software mean these devices need more program memory than what can be implemented economically on-chip using embedded Flash or SRAM memory, and less than what is offered by the smallest DRAM devices. To hit performance targets, system designers currently must invest in memory solutions that are expensive, power-hungry and performance limiting. Built on an innovative memory and protocol architecture, EcoXiP overcomes these challenges. "Demand for higher performance, lower power and lower cost in today's connected embedded devices presents a challenge to system designers who find that existing solutions no longer meet requirements," said Narbeh Derhacobian, chief executive officer, Adesto Technologies. "EcoXiP is designed from the ground-up to be the ultimate solution for serving as the main program memory in an intelligent IoT system." The EcoXip Advantage - eXecute-in-Place (XiP) technology holds great promise for small embedded systems since it doesn't suffer from the disadvantages of executing from on-chip embedded Flash or SRAM. Unlike embedded Flash, with an external XiP solution an MCU can be implemented with the latest process technologies leading to better power consumption, higher frequency and lower system cost. Unlike embedded SRAM, an XiP Flash device can be turned off so it won't consume any power during power-down modes. In addition, EcoXip offer designers the flexibility of increasing memory capacity as their storage needs increase. However, even state of the art XiP solutions suffer from a lack of performance along with high power consumption and increased system cost. EcoXiP brings together all of the advantages of traditional XiP systems over on-chip memory, but its novel architecture means tradeoffs are no longer necessary. Benefits include : 1 - High system performance: unlike existing Serial Flash devices, EcoXiP delivers the required performance, achieving 2.4X CPU speed compared to existing Quad devices and 1.4X CPU speed compared to existing Octal devices. 2 - Optimized latency and throughput: a high-speed, octal DDR interface with a proprietary pre-fetching scheme reduces the effective latency dramatically and delivers superior CPU performance. 3 - Concurrent Read/Write capability: designers can reduce system cost since in most cases there is no need for additional Flash memory to handle over-the-air updates or data logging 4 - Memory size flexibility: optimized densities from 32Mb to 128Mb enable designers to optimize for their specific application, with the ability to change memory capacity as their needs change without the expense of redesigning their systems. 5- Process scalability: SOC vendors can design their chips with less embedded Flash or even no embedded Flash, allowing them to move to process nodes that do not support Flash such as 28nm and smaller, leading to faster, lower-power SOCs. 6 - Best standby power: configurable strength IO pins and a range of power management features lead to improved device and system power consumption. 7 - Enhanced security with on-chip unique-ID One-Time Programmable (OTP) security registers SPI host controllers for EcoXiP are available from Adesto IP partners including Mobiveil and Synopsys, says the company.