Instant gratification, instant answers, instant coffee…Instant on!

Our generation seems to demand that everything these days works fast, is efficient and accomplishes the task at hand conveniently to keep up with our crazy schedules.  One area of our lives where we haven’t been spoiled with instant gratification is in many home electronics boot up times.  In fact, start times of many electronics have gotten longer. 

Think of your new flat screen TV start time versus your old 100-pound TV.  Boot up times have been negatively affected by the addition of many new features to devices that require more processing and networking capability to support the improved functionality.  The typical thermostat is another example.  Your thermostat used to be a simple device that talked to your HVAC to perform basic on/off and temperature control function.  New home energy managers are now available that not only can accomplish the basics, but can stream your weather and other content conveniently to an enhanced graphics in-home display.  These same devices can also integrate with your home security system so that you can set your alarm and stream live video feeds from within your house while giving you the ability to control these functions from your mobile device as well.  

All of this functionality can bog down a complex electronics system and create perceived system performance issues. 

At Spansion, we have been designing our NOR Flash memory to address this need for speed.  Speed is not the only factor that addresses this problem however.  Working closely with our semiconductor partners to take advantage of higher interface speeds is where the results begin to pay-off.  Spansion along with chipset partners like Freescale are paving the way for new optimized systems focused on improving the features that matter.  These new systems can boot complex OSs like Linux extremely fast and bring up graphics in a way that the user feels the instant gratification that came from simpler electronics 10 to 20 years ago.  

When Spansion released our 80MHz DDR version of the S25FL-S product family, it was targeted at the automotive market which required that images stored in Flash memory could be quickly rendered onto the dashboard an infinite number of times to create much more appealing displays which could enhance or replace analog car dashboard dials such as the speedometer.  Now, Spansion’s speed enhancements are showing value in home devices.  Spansion’s S25FL-S family along with the Freescale Vybrid MCU can quickly run U-Boot from SPI all the way to a graphics splash screen in under 2 seconds and this boot process continues to get faster with further modifications.  This means that feature rich home devices will be able to provide  enhanced user interfaces in the home in an appealing way.  As in-home displays (IHDs) become more popular, the value of instant graphics becomes paramount to satisfy requirement.  Developers of these systems will have new options from silicon providers like Spansion that will translate to better functionality and a better overall cost structure.

Advanced electronic systems in the home will feed the appetite for home users’ lifestyles, and at the same time give large equipment makers and service carriers the ability to offer these users more feature rich devices.

You’ll be able to learn more about the technical details of Spansion’s S25FL-S with the Freescale Vybrid in an upcoming white paper that will discuss the trade-offs of different non-volatile memory subsystems and how to partition your software accordingly.  If you’d like to receive a digital copy when it is published, please email with “Spansion S25FL-S White Paper” in the subject line.

Spansion Presents at Flash Memory Summit

From automotive electronics to industrial systems to communications systems to highly interactive and immersive consumer devices, Flash memory-based embedded systems solutions are at the heart of electronic systems—connecting, controlling, storing and powering everything. Continue reading

Smart Home Photo Contest: Week 2

Another week has gone by since Spansion announced the Smart Home Photo Contest.  It looks like everyone is taking the creativity portion of the contest very seriously, which means we’ve received some more great entries. Can you picture the day that your dishwasher will know how full it is and will be able to load its own soap and do the dishes without human intervention? How about a washer and dryer that are synced to your smartphone so you don’t have to guess when a load is done? Or special window panes that interact with embedded sensors to tint themselves based on the history of your preferred environmental conditions? Those are just a few of the awesome ideas we’ve seen. Check out all of this week’s new entries here. Continue reading

Spansion Recognized as Marketshare Leader in Embedded Solutions

In my first couple of months at Spansion, I’ve had the opportunity to visit and interact with several customers who are pioneering significant developments in embedded applications – including industrial design and UI interface innovations that will drive the adoption of new solutions in the market. Continue reading

The Bits Behind In-Vehicle Infotainment

In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems are undergoing a major revolution. New technologies are expanding IVI functions beyond the traditional navigation and audio systems to increase the “cool” factor and enable safer, smarter driving. Continue reading

The Future of NOR Flash Memory

The future of NOR Flash MemoryHe’s coming… he’s coming soon… he’s coming to a conference center near you.  It’s “Samson,” the 66-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton – one of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex specimens.  Samson will be at the ESC Silicon Valley 2011 Conference from May 3-5th at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.  It turns out so will I.

I will be presenting “The Future of NOR Flash Memory” on Tuesday May 3, from 4:30-5:30 p.m, part of the Memory in Embedded Design track.    NOR flash memory has historically been an obvious choice for embedded non-volatile memory and my presentation will discuss how NOR Flash memory’s current trajectories and operational characteristics will enable usage in future applications.

NOR Flash memory has distinct advantages in embedded applications

NOR Flash memory currently provides the lowest initial latency, highest data integrity and fastest data throughput of all non-volatile memory products.  I will discuss how these attributes can be best utilized in embedded applications including some exciting emerging segments, such as XiP over serial Flash memory (SPI), 3D gaming graphics and automotive instrumentation displays.  I will also cover design considerations between various interface modes and their impact on performance throughput and required pin counts.   Lastly, I will examine some future high speed interface enhancements, such as DDR.

Come Learn the Details

So on your way from meeting Samson, stop by my presentation on Tuesday May 3 at 4:30PM to hear the technical details and to have a spirited discussion on the current and future use of NOR Flash memory.  I am looking forward to seeing you there.  You are also welcome to find out more information about Spansion and our NOR Flash memory at our website.