eMemory’s NeoMTP Technology Advances in Extensive Touch Panel MCU and TDDI Applications
Hsinchu, Taiwan (Sept. 16, 2013)- eMemory, an embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) industry leader announced today that its Multiple Times Programmable (MTP) solution NeoMTP has advanced applications in touch panel microcontrollers (MCU), and achieved excellent results in integrated multi-purpose touch and display driver ICs (TDDI) which combines both display and touch control features. The new NeoMTP developments will benefit customers with diverse touch panel-based product applications such as mobile devices, navigation equipments, digital cameras, and white goods.
Touch panel applications have become increasingly popular with its easy and intuitive user interface in recent years. According to the projection by DisplaySearch, with smart phones and tablet serve as driving forces; the touch panel shipments will reach 157 million units in 2013, representing an increase of 19% compared to 2012. As market competition intensifies, module cost reductions and compact device designs will become the key elements to success. In response to such market trend, microcontrollers with built-in touch sensors and integrated TDDI, which incorporates both touch panel controller ICs and panel display driver ICs in one single chip, will be the stars in the next generation touch controller technology.
In the past, embedded flash (eFlash) solutions were commonly used for microcontroller command and program storage. Yet MTP NVM technology with simple process is gradually gaining market attention these days for its product applications and cost advantages. However, a number of factors have retarded the pace of adoption: the process of traditional MTP technology still needs additional mask which leads to higher manufacturing costs. As MTP solutions require high endurances over an extended period of time, high reliability also remains as a critical feature. To ensure product quality and stable manufacturing yields, comprehensive production testing workflow is a must as well. As the result, issues include complex process technologies, additional mask expenses, and long testing time in production all added up to become obstacles for the adoption of MTP solutions.
Although overall cost considerations have been the main reason to withhold customers from adopting MTP solutions, the ultimate deterrent is that MTP SIP entails extensive reliance on suppliers’ technical service resources and infrastructure. But in reality, SIP suppliers are commonly limited in resources to provide customers with adequate engineering supports. Therefore, the ability to satisfy customers’ technical service requirements while resolving technical issues raised from processes to maintain product quality and yield rates effectively, all become severe challenges and formidable entry barriers for aspiring SIP suppliers.
In comparison, the NeoMTP technology developed by eMemory is based on standard logic process, making it easy to obtain production capacity and facilitate schedule planning for wafer starts. On the technology front, NeoMTP shortens the process scaling technology development cycle; thereby speeds up overall product development cycle. In terms of production costs, NeoMTP offers a simple structure which does not require additional mask layer to greatly reduce IC manufacturing expenses. Regarding mass-production testing, for low endurance applications, NeoMTP’s unique circuit design and testing workflow can reduce product testing period and the costs associated. In summary, NeoMTP is fully compatible with standard logic processes and is supported by major foundry partners; moreover, the technology is backed by eMemory’s industry-leading technical support system and SIP management platform, all of which provides existing and potential customers the most favorable conditions for adopting MTP solutions.
NeoMTP SIP is ideal for engineering verification, mass production parameter settings, and system trimming of touch panel MCU and TDDI. At the same time, it offers customers comprehensive benefits in production, technology, and cost structure, thereby increasing product competitiveness. Moreover, the innovative testing platform designed for eMemory’s NVM technology helps customers to achieve reliable product quality while controlling testing time and cost; which is beneficial for products to advance into mass production phase in a speedy manner. To meet market demand, eMemory’s NeoMTP technology is directly incorporated into advanced process platforms, and is already undergoing validation at a number of world-class foundries. It has complete technical development and IP design verification at 0.11um process platform and is undergoing IP design verification phase at 80nm and 55nm process. The benefits of integrating eMemory’s technology in touch panel MCU and TDDI has been highly recognized by existing and potential customers, and a number of clients have inquired about initiating product design-in with NeoMTP.