Serial Port Memory Technology Working Group

ARM, Hynix Semiconductor, Inc., LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Image, Inc., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, and ST Microelectronics formed the Serial Port Memory Technology working group to create an open standard for next-generation memory interface technology targeting mobile devices. This first-of-its-kind memory standard for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) will enable extended battery life, bandwidth flexibility, significantly reduced pin count, lower power demand and multiple ports by using a serial interface instead of the parallel interface commonly used in today’s memory devices. This technology will be ideal for mobile handset manufacturers and consumers because it will dramatically extend battery life while allowing high- performance media-rich applications that will be the norm on next-generation mobile phones.

The SPMT Working Group’s goal is to define a technology that reduces pin count by a minimum of 40 percent, provides a bandwidth range from 3.2GB/s to 12.6GB/s and higher, reduces input/output power by 50 percent or more to extend battery life, and provides the ability to use either a single port or multiple ports into a single SPMT-enabled memory chip. While initially targeted at the mobile handset market, the technology will also be in demand by other markets such as portable media players, digital still cameras and handheld gaming devices.

The Working Group came together to pioneer a new technology to meet the growing demand of manufacturers to extend battery life and increase the performance and functionality of handsets while reducing system cost for the devices. This is in response to mobile service providers’ demand for solutions enabling them to give consumers more data-intensive, media-rich capabilities such as video (including high-definition video), GPS, gaming, Internet access, e-mail, multimedia applications and music at a competitive price. The SPMT Working Group has been meeting since the third quarter of 2007 and is expected to organize a formal consortium later this year consisting of handset, memory and system-on-chip manufacturers and semiconductor IP providers with the intention of bringing the SPMT specification to the industry by the end of 2008.

As DRAM content continues to grow for the new generation of mobile devices, it is becoming increasingly difficult for current technologies to keep up with the demand for longer battery life, greater bandwidth and design flexibility while reducing overall system cost,” said Jim Venable, head of Silicon Image’s Advanced Memory Technology Products. “Serial Port Memory Technology will be a game-changer in the way mobile device developers design new products that deliver significantly better battery life and a higher- quality user experience.

More info: Serial Port Memory Technology (SPMT)