Manufacturers form memory interface standard group

ARM, Hynix Semiconductor, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Image, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and STMicroelectronics announced the formation of the SPMT Working Group, an industry association dedicated to forging an open standard for next-generation memory interface technology for mobile devices. The SPMT Working Group derives its name from Serial Port Memory Technology, a standard for dynamic random access memory that promises to enable extended battery life, bandwidth flexibility, reduced pin count, lower power demand and multiple ports. SPMT relies on a serial interface instead of the parallel interface commonly found in memory devices, promising high-performance media-rich applications in next-gen handsets--the working group's stated goal is defining a technology that reduces pin count a minimum of 40 percent, provides a bandwidth range from 3.2GB/s to 12.6GB/s and higher, reduces input/output power by at least half to extend battery life, and enables use of either a single port or multiple ports in a single SPMT-enabled memory chip.

The SPMT Working Group has been meeting since the third quarter of 2007 and plans to organize a formal consortium later this year. Its SPMT specification is expected by the end of 2008. While the group will initially target media-rich mobile handset applications like high-definition video, GPS, gaming, web access and music, it adds the technology will also be in demand among manufacturers of portable media players, digital still cameras and handheld gaming devices.

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