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News Items:
1. Samsung, Toshiba, notable absentees from ONFI members' list

2. ONFI group produces NAND flash memory standard

3. ONFI group announces 1.0 spec availability

4. ONFI accelerates time - to market for NAND - based products

 

 

Samsung, Toshiba, notable absentees from ONFI members' list

Peter Clarke
  LONDON — Samsung, Toshiba, two leading makers of NAND flash memory, remain the notable absentees from the ranks of the eight-month-old Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) organization. A third influential name absent from the ONFI members' list is SanDisk Corp. (San Jose, Calif.), a leading vendor of NAND flash memory cards, USB drives and MP3 players.

Samsung and Toshiba have controlled close to 75 percent of the world market for NAND flash memory between them. So their support for ONFI could be highly supportive.

However, there are apparently three members of ONFI not listed at the group's website, raising the possibility that some prominent names could have joined recently and not yet been listed there.

ONFI was put together by Intel Corp. in the first half of 2006 and formally launched, with the backing of Hynix, STMicroelectronics, Micron Technology and Sony, in May 2006. The ONFI working group, which has just produced its first standard, aims to improve time to market for NAND-based devices. It now includes 39 members according to the latest press release, but only 36 members are listed at the website.

The technical workgroups within ONFI next plan to focus on increasing the bandwidth of flash memory interfaces, while seeking to simplify host controller design by providing a block abstraction capability — enabling the use of an even wider range of NAND flash components in many applications.

In addition, ONFI plans to define a flash memory module, including a tailored module connector which will enable an industry standard, pluggable NAND module similar to a DRAM module used in computing platforms. This next-generation specification is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2007.

 

ONFI group produces NAND flash memory standard

Peter Clarke
  LONDON — Intel, Micron, STMicroelectronics, Hynix, Sony and more than 30 other companies have announced the completion of a first standard that is expected to simplify the integration of NAND flash memory into consumer electronics and computer.

The companies, which formed the ONFI (Open NAND Flash Interface) Working Group back in May 2006, have developed the ONFI 1.0 specification. This open standard defines NAND device behavior, command and register sets, pin-out, electrical parameters and packaging and provides a mechanism for NAND devices to identify themselves to a system.

"The ONFI 1.0 specification is the first industry standard for the chip-level NAND Flash interface," said Knut Grimsrud, chairman of ONFI and an Intel Fellow, in a statement. "Delivering the ratified specification just three quarters after the formation of the group is an exceptional accomplishment by the team. Building on this success, the ONFI group is already pursuing next-generation development efforts to help enable Flash in additional applications and market segments."

The self-describe capability extends the range of NAND flash memory components that applications can accommodate and allow new flash memories to be supported with minimal software changes, the group said. The specification is now available at http://onfi.org/specification.asp.

The technical workgroups within ONFI next plan to focus on increasing the bandwidth of flash memory interfaces, while seeking to simplify host controller design by providing a block abstraction capability — enabling the use of an even wider range of NAND flash components in many applications.

In addition, ONFI plans to define a flash memory module, including a tailored module connector which will enable an industry standard, pluggable NAND module similar to a DRAM module used in computing platforms. This next-generation specification is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2007.

The ONFI Working Group formed in May 2006 and has 39 members. Founding companies include Hynix Semiconductor, Intel Corp., Micron Technology Inc., Phison Electronics Corp., Sony Corp. and STMicroelectronics NV.

 

All material on this site Copyright 2007 CMP Media LLC. All rights reserved.

DigiTimes daily IT news

       
ONFI group announces 1.0 spec availability
Vyacheslav Sobolev, DigiTimes.com, Taipei [Monday 22 January 2007]

The Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Working Group, which backs a chip-level interface proposed as a new standard for NAND flash memory devices, today announced the availability of the ONFI 1.0 specification.

The specification defines NAND device behavior, such as command and register sets, pin-out, electrical parameters and packaging, the working group said. In addition, ONFI 1.0 provides the NAND flash with the ability to identify itself and provide key characteristics, such as memory layout, timing support and enhanced features, to the controller, via a standardized protocol, according to the working group.

The ONFI group also added it released the ONFI 1.0 specification on December 28, and the second-generation specifications will be completed in June 2007. According to the working group, new features to be added include faster interface transfer rates, a "block abstraction" capability that manages disparate NAND flash components (simplifies host controller design), integrated error correction code (ECC) and separate power supply specifications for the NAND flash core and data I/O, that improves noise immunity of the device. The ONFI standard will also define a flash module, including a tailored module connector which will enable an industry-standard, pluggable NAND module similar to a DRAM module used in computing platforms today, the working group noted.

The ONFI initiative was announced by Intel in March 2006 at the Spring Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. The working group to develop and promote ONFI specifications was formed in May 2006, and it currently consists of 37 members, including Taiwan-based Avid Electronics, Foxconn (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry), InComm Technologies, Phison Electronics, Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC), Silicon Motion, Skymedi, Solid State System, UCA Technology and Winbond Electronics, according to the working group.

 DigiTimes Publication. All rights reserved.

ONFI ACCELERATES TIME-TO-MARKET FOR NAND-BASED PRODUCTS

http://www.onfi.org/01222007press.html

Group Welcomes New Members as it Tackles the Next Generation Specification

 

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 22, 2007 – The Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Working Group, the organization dedicated to simplifying integration of NAND Flash memory into consumer electronics (CE) devices, computing platforms and industrial systems, today announced the availability of the ONFI 1.0 specification. The chip-level standard interface simplifies Flash controller design, which facilitates the integration of a wide range of NAND Flash components into diverse end-use applications.

 

“The ONFI 1.0 specification is the first industry standard for the chip-level NAND Flash interface,” said Knut Grimsrud, ONFI Chairman and Intel Fellow. “Delivering the ratified specification just three quarters after the formation of the group is an exceptional accomplishment by the team. Building on this success, the ONFI group is already pursuing next generation development efforts to help enable Flash in additional applications and market segments.”

 

ONFI 1.0 is a comprehensive specification that defines NAND device behavior, such as command and register sets, pin-out, electrical parameters and packaging. In addition, the specification provides the NAND Flash with the ability to identify itself and provide key characteristics such as memory layout, timing support, and enhanced features to the controller, via a standardized protocol.

 

This self-describe capability expands the range of NAND Flash components that the application can efficiently accommodate. This also enables support for new Flash components with minimal software changes, thus shortening qualification cycles and improving time-to-market (TTM) for original design manufacturers (ODMs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The specification is now available at http://onfi.org/specification.asp.

 

ONFI Roadmap

With the completion of the 1.0 specification, the technical workgroups within ONFI take the next step in the organization’s technical roadmap. ONFI will now focus on substantially increasing the Flash interface transfer rate to improve overall system-level performance. The group will also continue to simplify host controller design by providing a block abstraction capability – enabling the use of an even wider range of NAND Flash components in many applications.

Lastly, ONFI will define a Flash module, including a tailored module connector which will enable an industry standard, pluggable NAND module similar to a DRAM module used in computing platforms today. This next generation specification is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2007.

 

“An increase in transfer rate in the next ONFI specification will be required to enable next generation consumer and industrial storage applications,” said Lane Mason, memory market analyst for Denali. “With many of the industry-leading companies involved, ONFI will help manufacturers integrate next generation NAND Flash into future products to enhance performance, functionality and time-to-market.”

 

 

About ONFI

The ONFI Working Group is dedicated to simplifying integration of NAND Flash memory into consumer electronics (CE) applications and computing platforms. Before the advancements made by the working group, use of NAND Flash in these end-use applications was hampered by the lack of sufficient standardization. To support a new NAND Flash component on a platform, host software and hardware changes were often required. Implementing these changes was extremely costly due to the new testing cycle required – which led to slower rates of adoption for new NAND Flash components. ONFI aims to remedy that problem and speed time to market for NAND Flash based applications.

 

The ONFI Working Group formed in May 2006 and currently has 39 members. ONFI’s founding companies include Hynix Semiconductor, Intel Corporation, Micron Technology, Phison Electronics Corporation, Sony Corporation and STMicroelectronics.

 

Please visit http://www.onfi.org for more information on the initiative and how to become a contributor.