by Hideya Horikawa and Hamid Aslam
New leading-edge applications ranging from games to networking infrastructure equipment are driving the need to include large-capacity and high-speed memory on-chip rather than separately as a discrete device. On-chip memory devices enable throughput capabilities into the gigabit-per-second range, as well as compact designs with modest power dissipation and smaller footprints in office, industrial equipment and lightweight electronic devices.
The semiconductor industry is meeting the demands presented by these market trends with system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs. SoCs contain the processor, logic, analog macros and memory needed to perform all of the critical functions; they also represent a major departure from previous system-on-a-board development. In this new, highly integrated chip landscape, innovative solutions for embedded memory are being addressed.