A microcontroller unit (MCU) is a small, self-contained computer with memory and programmable input/output peripherals that is housed on a single chip. MCUs are typically limited in power and functionality, but can perform simple functions independently, and are most often embedded in IoT devices including consumer electronics, automotive electronics, and household appliances. MCUs can interface with external devices such as sensors. They do not require operating systems to function and are easy to set up.
Each MCU contains a block for code storage, which allows the MCU to perform simple tasks independently. This block could be ROM, embedded flash, OTP, or MTP. As compared to ROM, OTP or MTP for standard logic processes provides field programmability while simplifying inventory management. Variations in final product sets can be offered through different firmware. With ROM, each product set must be manufactured with different mask for different firmware, which complicates inventory management. Standard logic compatible OTP and MTP provide relief to chip designers as they can be programmed after system assembly. Embedded flash (eFlash) also has its own disadvantage: higher wafer-process cost. Typically, eFlash needs eight to twelve additional masks to support the process. Standard logic compatible OTP and MTP provide the same functionality as eFlash but at reduced costs and can come in a variety of package options.
Cost-effective and available for lowest cost platform
eMemory’s NVM IPs are logic compatible and do not require additional masks. For price-sensitive consumer electronics customers, eMemory can customize its IPs for green process platforms to increase cost efficiencies by reducing mask count.
Field programmability and testability
eMemory’s OTP and MTP provide invaluable flexibility advantages over ROM after system assembly to support new features during early product phases. As products mature, eMemory’s NeoROM can be used to minimize testing time by as much as 90%, enabling faster time-to-market.
Fully compatible with logic based processes
Our logic compatible NVM IPs can be ported to different foundries, enabling multi-foundry MCU manufacturing strategy.