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SST secures embedded flash memory design win with SHHIC.

SST has announced that its Shanghai-based subsidiary, SST China, has been selected by Shanghai HuaHong Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. (SHHIC) as the supplier of embedded flash memory technology. SHHIC is widely recognized as the leading developer and promoter of smart card technology in China, as well as one of the top five semiconductor design companies in that region. Under the terms of the deal, SST will provide its embedded SuperFlash technology in densities ranging from 256 Kbit to 4 Mbit to SHHIC through the relationships SST has secured with leading foundries in China, such as Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (GSMC). SHHIC will embed SST's flash memory in a variety of its IC designs, including its next-generation smart card ICs.

"SST has a clear roadmap and a focused plan with committed resources to offer embedded flash memory through local fabs here in China, so we will experience many manufacturing advantages, such as reduced cost and faster time-to-market, by using SST as our embedded flash memory supplier," said Dr. Hao Min, general manager, SHHIC. "We are also very impressed with SST's SuperFlash technology, as its low power, high reliability, volume production experience and general availability through multiple leading wafer foundries in Asia make it a perfect match for our next-generation secure smart card ICs."

"We recognized early on the growing yet under-served need for embedded flash memory in China, and because of the strategic moves we have made over the past year, including setting up a local subsidiary and securing strong relationships with Chinese wafer foundries, we have established SST as the leading provider of embedded flash memory in China," said Bing Yeh, president and CEO of SST. "SHHIC is among the leading fabless semiconductor companies in China and we are excited to be working with them in a smart card market that we expect will experience high growth not only in China but throughout the world in the years to come."

Smart cards are used heavily in China, Europe and other areas of the world to store data and enable secure transactions in a wide range of application areas including banking, identification, health care, multimedia, mass transit and wireless communications. According to market research firm Gartner Dataquest, worldwide smart card shipments reached 685.4 million units in 2001, up 10.4 percent from 2000.* SHHIC's next generation smart card ICs are based on a 32-bit microprocessor and will be available to the industry early next year.

The nonvolatile memory technology used for manufacturing smart card ICs has traditionally been thin-tunnel-oxide-based EEPROM technology. However, due to the large memory cell size and reliability concerns on the thin-oxide, EEPROM technology can only support smart card applications that require a small amount of embedded memory. SST believes that its embedded SuperFlash technology is the best candidate for future generations of smart card IC applications that require much higher density of embedded memory because the SuperFlash cell size is much smaller and the thicker oxide used in the SuperFlash technology has proven to have excellent data retention reliability in high-volume production. SST plans to further scale down its SuperFlash technology to accommodate multi-megabytes of embedded memory for future smart card IC applications.

SST China was established in December 2001 with the charter of developing and selling flash memory, ROM/RAM combo and embedded controller products in the Chinese marketplace, as well as providing embedded flash memory design and manufacturing services to Chinese design houses. Paul Lui, vice president of the Special Products Group at SST, is head of the SST China operation.

SST's SuperFlash technology is a NOR type, split-gate cell architecture which uses a reliable thick-oxide process with fewer manufacturing steps resulting in a low-cost, nonvolatile memory solution with excellent data retention and higher reliability. The split-gate NOR SuperFlash architecture facilitates a simple and flexible design suitable for high performance, high reliability, small or medium sector size, in- or off-system programming and a variety of densities, all in a single CMOS-compatible technology.
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Comment:SST secures embedded flash memory design win with SHHIC.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 9, 2002
Words:658
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