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STMicroelectronics announces new Page Flash technology for smartcards

STMicroelectronics announced new Page Flash technology, enabling smartcards to function without EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) in the future.

EEPROM is rather widespread due to fast (several milliseconds) erase/program. Itís disadvantage is the necessity of rather high 18 V voltage for writing.

Page Flash is a derivative of usual flash memory and features similar program speed (about 10 microseconds), but also enables to selectively delete 32-bit words in several milliseconds and provides 100K guaranteed rewrite cycles. Using Page Flash with usual flash memory enables to simplify chip making due to technological similarity.

To demonstrate Page Flash capabitilies in the context of MEDEA+ Esp@ss-is project, the company created special ST22FJ1M demonstrator, combining 32-bit SmartJ microcontroller with 1MB flash memory (768KB User Flash), other 256KB are Page Flash instead of EEPROM.

The company believes new technology will be used in the 3G/4G mobile terminal market as well as in high-end Internet solutions and Pay TV systems. Early in 2003 we should expect production of commercial solutions on ST22FJ1M and ST22 core, using Flash/Page Flash.

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