“eNVM Inside” Could Be The Next Catchphrase

You don’t have to look far to find lots of eNVM on display.


Let’s do a bit of a refresh on embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) IP and the markets it has ably served: analog/mixed signal, automotive, consumer, industrial and mobile applications. Rather mainstream segments, albeit high value, in need of reliable storage. An estimated 10-billion units shipped in more than 400 chip designs makes eNVM IP a popular choice.

See for yourself as we take a retail shopping expedition. Walk into any Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy or local electronics store and find hundreds of products that have that important bit of IP. It’s a bit like the heady “Intel Inside,” though a similar “eNVM inside” won’t be found on any current device and may not have the same ring. Still in all, embedded memory is as essential as the processor.

You’ll find eNVM IP in analog and mixed-signal applications, such as amplifiers, ADCs/DACs, audio/display drivers, phasor measurement units (PMUs) and telecommunications, for trimming and configuration, as well as ensuring high performance. Many of these are stacked on the Fry’s shelves.

Consumer electronics devices are popular and ubiquitous, and take full advantage of the benefits of eNVM IP.  Some of the better-known brands of eNVM IP are high density and use standard logic CMOS processing that maintains design flexibility while helping lower overall system cost. Best Buy should have the latest in set top boxes on display.

Embedded NVM IP is used by mobile handset chip makers to meet the demands for new features and an improved form factor. It is found in the CMOS image sensor, baseband processor, RF transceiver, power amplifier, display, and power management chip sets. The Apple Store should not be overlooked as a hub of eNVM.

The next stop on the tour of local retail shops could be the Tesla showroom. Reliability is a big concern for the automotive industry and eNVM IP certainly meets that criteria. Applications range from control systems and DSPs to in-car communications and infotainment systems and, perhaps, more than we haven’t thought of inside a Tesla Model S.

Finally, the Amazon delivery service just pulled up to the door from the local Amazon Fulfillment Center. The centers are a good example of an industrial application because they are chock full of the latest industrial automation technology. High reliability and best-in-class security sets eNVM IP apart for applications including sensors, actuators, motor control, video surveillance, environmental control, RFID, M2M and high-speed framers/wrappers.

Embedded NVM IP is poised to take on IoT and security, just as it did for these other market segments. Its veritable features, non-volatility and versatility, for example, among other less tangible benefits make it an inspired choice as hack attacks increase and threaten IoT security. It cannot be hacked using passive, semi-invasive or invasive methods because of a layer of protection at the physical layer. As well, IoT developers have a need to reduce power and are using eNVM for that reason.

Now, don’t expect to see “eNVM inside” on any of the hardware stacked in rows at your favorite electronics store. Nor will it be etched on the hood of a car or the cover of your next mobile device that you were able to purchase without breaking the bank. But rest assured, it’s inside doing what it’s supposed to be doing.