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Set-Top Box Manufacturers Select Spansion MirrorBit(R) SPI Multi-I/O Flash Memory to Simplify Designs and Lower Overall System Costs | Cypress Semiconductor

Set-Top Box Manufacturers Select Spansion MirrorBit(R) SPI Multi-I/O Flash Memory to Simplify Designs and Lower Overall System Costs

Last Updated: October 21, 2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct 21, 2009 -- Spansion Inc. today announced that leading Set-Top Box OEMs in Asia are adopting its MirrorBit(R) SPI Multi-I/O Flash memory to simplify designs, help reduce form factors and enable lower overall system costs in many of their new models.

A set-top box (STB) is an electronic device used to bridge and regulate content from cable or satellite TV operators to consumers. The boxes are becoming more feature-rich including functions like personal video recording and internet access for streaming content. Set-top box sales have continued to expand even amid the worse phase of the current economic downturn, with shipments set to grow to 136.7 million units in 2009, up 4.2 percent, due to rising demand from Asia and from products supporting High Definition (HD), Digital Video Recording and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), according to iSuppli Corp, El Segundo, California. Shipments are expected to rise to nearly 200 million systems by 2013, growing at a CAGR rate of 9 percent during the forecast period, according to Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for set-top boxes at iSuppli.

Spansion(R) MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O Flash memory is enabling set-top box manufacturers to take advantage of the lower overall system costs that the serial interface enables, while offering high performance and reliability that the new digital home applications demand. The MirrorBit Multi-I/O SPI family includes 32-megabits (Mb), 64 Mb and 128Mb devices with all three densities shipping in volume production today.The S25FL-P devices are available in 8-pin SOIC (208 mil), 16-pin SOIC, USON (6mm x 5mm), WSON (6 mm x 8 mm) packages), depending on the density. In addition, all 3 densities are also offered in a BGA 6mm x 8mm package.

"As a global leader in China's developing set-top box industry that is known for its technically advanced, yet cost effective set-top box platform we are excited to see suppliers like Spansion bringing high performance to serial Flash memory so it can be leveraged in applications that demand more performance," said Wenting Zhang, Deputy General Manager of the set-top box department at DVN (Shanghai) Ltd. "By utilizing the simplified interface for Flash memory and with performance comparable to standard parallel I/O NOR flash, we are able to bring innovative devices to market with lower overall system costs."

SPI devices typically read information serially, or one bit at a time, requiring fewer connections and thus fewer pins. This simplifies board layout which results in lower system costs and reduces the form factor of many embedded designs. With multiple I/Os, SPI devices can transmit and receive data either one, two or four bits at a time from a single device, enabling faster speeds while still requiring only eight total pins or four active pins to retain the original benefits of single I/O SPI.

The enhanced performance means that serial devices can be used to support faster code execution, potentially reducing the amount of RAM required by the system with slower serial Flash memory solutions and enabling faster system power up times, considered an important benefit for consumer electronics. Leading performance of up to 40MB/s (80 MHz per I/O in quad I/O mode) makes the MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O family capable of executing code in-place (XIP) for a variety of industrial and consumer electronics applications with performance that matches or exceeds conventional parallel I/O NOR Flash memory.

The product family also offers enhanced security features with a permanent sector lock security device that protects code and data stored in the memory array from being changed or erased in any way after this command has been activated. For higher levels of security, the 6x8mm BGA package can be used to further secure operator's code from signal hackers who attempt to probe the memory connections.

"By introducing this new family of MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O Flash Memory devices, Spansion is delivering high performance while at the same time maintaining the simplified interface for Serial Flash memory, and enabling us to bring innovative devices to market with lower overall system costs," said Xiaohui Wang, the General Manager of R&D department at Skyworth Digital Technology Co. Ltd. "As an OEM focused on high-quality systems, we are excited to see suppliers like Spansion bringing tougher security and high performance to serial Flash memory so it can be leveraged in tomorrow's applications today."

In addition to set top boxes, Spansion's MirrorBit SPI Multi-I/O devices are designed to address the performance, cost and volume demands of applications such as optical disk drives, personal computers and high-end printers, as well as networking and home entertainment equipment such as digital TV and DVD players/recorders.

About Spansion

Spansion (Pink Sheets: SPSNQ) is a leading Flash memory solutions provider, dedicated to enabling, storing and protecting digital content in wireless, automotive, networking and consumer electronics applications. Spansion, previously a joint venture of AMD and Fujitsu, is the largest company in the world dedicated exclusively to designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling and licensing Flash memory solutions. For more information, visit

Spansion(R), the Spansion logo, MirrorBit(R), MirrorBit(R) Eclipse(TM), ORNAND(TM), EcoRAM(TM) and combinations thereof, are trademarks and registered trademarks of Spansion LLC in the United States and other countries. Other names used are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.