Spansion Unveils Plans for SONOS-based MirrorBit(R) ORNAND(TM) Family
Next-Generation Data Storage Solutions to Feature Fast Write and Ultra High Integration
Nov 15, 2007
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov 15, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Spansion Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSN), the world's largest pure-play provider of Flash memory solutions, today announced plans for the next generation of its successful data storage product family, the MirrorBit(R) ORNAND(TM) architecture. Leveraging Spansion's proprietary charge trapping storage technology, the new MirrorBit ORNAND2(TM) architecture will use a SONOS-like memory cell connected in a NAND memory array at 45-nanometers, featuring fast write performance with high packing density -- delivering the performance and cost advantages of NAND technology with the compelling cost structure of 300mm wafers.
Products planned for the new architecture will primarily target data storage applications in the integrated Flash memory markets where customers value differentiated, high-value solutions. The new architecture will expand the current MirrorBit ORNAND portfolio with a new family of solutions at 45nm that require 25 percent fewer mask layers than Spansion's 65nm MirrorBit ORNAND, and support superior quality over floating-gate NAND solutions. MirrorBit ORNAND2 products are expected to be available in early 2009.
The new architecture is based on Spansion's proprietary MirrorBit technology -- with MirrorBit solutions now shipping at a $2 billion run rate and representing 22 percent of the entire NOR Flash memory segment. By leveraging a common technology platform and the expected scalability benefits of MirrorBit technology below 40nm, the same fabs can be used to efficiently produce MirrorBit NOR, ORNAND and ORNAND2 products.
"Spansion is the only company to have successfully ramped charge trapping storage technology in high volume," said Dr. Lou Parrillo, executive vice president, research & development, Spansion Inc. "With our proprietary leading-edge MirrorBit technology, 300mm wafer capability and planned NAND-equivalent performance, we can further expand our product roadmap and accelerate our MirrorBit technology momentum."
Spansion is leveraging the expertise learned in ramping its proprietary MirrorBit technology to develop a proprietary SONOS-like cell for MirrorBit ORNAND2 technology. Unlike previous unsuccessful industry attempts to produce a commercially viable SONOS cell, Spansion expects its proprietary approach to deliver optimal performance through architectural innovation and proven production technology enabling a faster ramp to production.
"As technologies move down the scaling curve, conventional floating gate Flash memory is running out of steam at 45nm processes and below. Many companies are proposing charge-trapping technologies as an option," said Jim Handy, Director of Objective Analysis. "Spansion has had a charge trapping process in production for four years, giving the company a big head start on its competitors. The company's next-generation MirrorBit ORNAND2 architecture, a NAND array based on a SONOS-like cell structure, will further use this leadership to expand Spansion's market opportunities into areas currently served by NAND alone."
Spansion 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 and selling Flash memory solutions. For more information, visit http://www.spansion.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding: MirrorBit ORNAND2 architecture providing performance and cost advantages of NAND technology with the compelling cost structure of 300mm wafers; MirrorBit ORNAND2 architecture at 45nm process technology requiring 25 percent fewer mask layers than MirrorBit ORNAND at 65nm process technology; plans to make MirrorBit ORNAND2 products available in early 2009; expectation that the same fabs can be used to efficiently produce MirrorBit NOR products and the new MirrorBit ORNAND2 products; SONOS-like cell in MirrorBit ORNAND2 technology solves fundamental challenges such as implementing a thick tunnel oxide to address the conventional SONOS trade off between data retention and erase speed; the belief that floating gate NOR will have difficulties at processes of 45nm and below; MirrorBit ORNAND 2 architecture will expand Spansion's market opportunities into areas currently served by NAND alone; and the belief that Spansion will complete its planned merger with Saifun Semiconductors Ltd.. Investors are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this release involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's current expectations. Risks that the company considers to be the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements include the possibility that demand for the company's Flash memory products will be lower than currently expected; that average selling prices may decline; loss of key intellectual property arrangements because creates a greatly increased risk of patent or other intellectual property infringement claims; the highly cyclicality of the Flash memory market which has experienced severe downturns; that Spansion may not be effective in expense reduction efforts; the merger with Saifun may not result in benefits that we anticipate or that any delay or failure to complete the merger may result in harm; that OEMs will increasingly choose NAND-based Flash memory products over NOR, MirrorBit ORNAND and MirrorBit ORNAND2 architecture-based Flash memory products for their applications; that Spansion has a significant amount of debt, and such debt could subject us to restrictive covenants; that the company may not achieve facilities and capacity implementation schedules as a result of factors such as insufficient cash flows and inadequate external financing; that the company may lose a key customer, or experience a reduction of demand from a key customer; that the company will not successfully develop, introduce and commercialize new products and technologies or to accelerate our product development cycle; that competitors may introduce new memory or other technologies that may make our Flash memory products uncompetitive or obsolete; that the company will fail to develop, or there will be a lack of customer acceptance of, MirrorBit ORNAND and MirrorBit ORNAND2 architecture-based Flash memory products; that the company may experience manufacturing constraints or fail to achieve manufacturing efficiencies; customers' ability to change booked orders may lead to excess inventory; that the company's investments in research and development may not lead to timely improvements in technology; and intellectual property claims or litigation could cause the company to incur substantial costs or pay substantial damages or prohibit sales of its products. The company urges investors to review in detail the risks and uncertainties in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2007. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information included in this press release.
Spansion(R), the Spansion logo, MirrorBit(R), MirrorBit(R) Eclipse(TM), ORNAND(TM), ORNAND 2(TM), HD-SIM(TM) and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Spansion LLC in the U.S. and other countries. Other names used are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.