Bi-Core Controller is designed for USB 2.0 Flash drives.

Press Release Summary:

Architecture of ST72681 is based on ST7 8-bit microcontroller coupled with 16-bit, one-cycle-per-instruction I/O processor and Reed-Solomon error-correction processor for MLC NAND Flash devices. Embedded Reed-Solomon 4-byte-on-512-byte block encoder/decoder engine aids in hardware error correction. Both processors run at 30 MHz for read and write performance of 12 Mb/s and 10 Mb/s respectively. Product consumes 290 µA in suspend mode and 50 mA operating supply current.

Original Press Release:

STMicroelectronics Introduces Innovative Bi-Core Controller for High-Performance Bus-Powered USB 2.0 Flash Drives

New controller chip relies on a 16-bit, one-cycle-per-instruction, NAND-Flash interface, and 'state-of -the art' Reed-Solomon error correction at the industry's lowest power consumption

Geneva, May 31, 2005 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in 8-bit microcontrollers, today announced an innovative bi-core controller chip for the fast-growing USB Flash Drive market, offering exceptional design flexibility and a low-cost turnkey solution for Flash-drive manufacturers, while providing high performance even when used with different brands of NAND Flash. The ST72681 USB 2.0 Flash Drive Controller uses an advanced architecture based on an ST7 8-bit microcontroller tightly coupled with a fast, 16-bit, one-cycle-per-instruction Input/Output processor, which is dedicated to the Flash interface, and a Reed-Solomon error-correction processor for MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND Flash devices.

The ST72681 has been certified by USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) as having the industry's lowest power consumption - just 290 microamps in suspend mode and 50 mA operating supply current - enabling manufacturers to easily implement Flash Drives that are fully compliant with the USB 2.0 specification for bus-powered products.

Flash drives have become a popular way of transferring data, presentations, music files, and images between non-networked computers, as well as for carrying personal passwords, access codes, and other sensitive information. The drives are compact, easy-to-use, easy to carry in a pocket or on a neck cord, and are available in capacities from megabytes to gigabytes. More than 50 million drives were sold in 2004, and market analysts predict sales of two to three times as many in 2006.

ST's ST72681 Flash drive controller is a complete low-cost turnkey solution for the interface between the USB port and the Flash memory, and is supported by a comprehensive set of tools for production including Vendor ID, Product ID, and serial-number customization, as well as LED setting, formatting, boot capability, and public/private zone partitioning.

The ST72681's advanced architecture - in which an ST7 8-bit microcontroller is tightly coupled with an innovative 16-bit Input/Output processor dedicated to the NAND Flash interface with both processors running at 30MHz - brings exceptional flexibility and support for fast new NAND Flash devices, and high Read (more than 12-MB/s) and Write (over 10-MB/s) performance with only one 8-bit SLC (Single Level Cell) NAND Flash. Read performance will reach more than 20 Mbyte/s and Write performance will exceed 16 Mbyte/s with the next version of the ST72681 family controller, which will be available in the next few months.

An embedded Reed-Solomon 4-byte-on-512-byte block encoder/decoder engine dramatically improves on-the-fly hardware error correction, specifically for MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND Flash devices.

The ST72681 provides procurement flexibility for manufacturers by supporting all suppliers of NAND Flash devices, including those from STMicroelectronics. The bi-processor's unique firmware upgrade capability makes it possible to support a new NAND Flash type very rapidly without silicon modification, a vital feature for customers in the fast changing NAND Flash market.

"This brand new generation of USB2.0 controller is setting new standards in cost/performance ratio," said Xavier Mariaud, STMicroelectronics' Product Manager for USB2.0 microcontrollers. "The ST72681 is the foundation stone of a radical-innovation USB2.0 Flash storage controller family."

The ST72681 USB 2.0 Flash Drive Controller is available in a small footprint TQFP48 package and in die form. Pricing starts at $1.60 in quantities of 10,000.

For further information on ST's complete range of microcontrollers

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the Company's net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at

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