Renesas signs embedded flash deal with TSMC
Renesas Electronics has started development of its embedded flash technology on a 28nm process, following a new collaboration deal with TSMC.
Renesas will start sampling first flash microcontrollers fabbed on TSMC’s 40nm process in September.
According to Robert Green, European president at Renesas, the deal with TSMC will allow the foundry to license the 40nm embedded flash technology for use in devices fabbed for other customers.
“We have also started development of embedded flash on the 28nm process this year,” said Green.
Renesas has said it will outsource a larger proportion of its chip production, potentially as much as 40% of production, according to Green.
“The process of outsourcing production is accelerating and TSMC is a big part of this,” said Green.
Green said the chip maker is also accelerating its plans to focus less on consumer markets and more on longer life-cycle markets such as automotive, telecoms and industrial systems.
“We are de-focusing much of our consumer activities, such as TVs and cameras and there will be no more product development in theses areas,” said Green.
“There has been no consumer focus in Europe and so this change will not have as large an effect in Europe as it does in Japan,” said Green.
Renesas still does half its sales in Japan, and according to Green the intention is to increase the proportion of overseas business, which is good news for Europe.
“Engineering effort in Europe will increase,” said Green.
The 40nm microcontrollers in the RH850 family have up to 8Mbyte of on-chip flash.
Renesas uses MONOS (metal oxide nitride oxide silicon) to embedded flash at this fine geometry.
Single core variants clocking from 64 to 320MHz will be available.
Flash is from 256kbyte while additional blocks for data flash, emulating EEPROM functionality, are also included and deliver write/erase endurance values of more than 125,000 write/erase cycles at data retention times of minimum 20 years.
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