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Publication Date: 2010-Jul-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 92K

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The present invention relates, in general, to flash memory. More specifically, the present invention relates to a system for interfacing flash memory.

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system for interfacing flash memory

Ong, Lee Ming

The present invention relates, in general, to flash memory. More specifically, the present invention relates to a system for interfacing flash memory.

The past few years have witnessed advancements in the field of semiconductor technology in which the focus of the advancement has been flash memory. Flash memory is a computer storage technology which is non-volatile and electrically erasable and reprogrammable. Flash memory is used typically in applications involving microprocessors.  In such applications flash memory serves as an on-board storage used by the microprocessor for storing data and programs while executing the instructions of a sub-routine. The flash devices are inserted into sockets constructed on a circuit board. Several socket standards have been established to ensure uniformity in the construct and the protocols of flash devices manufactured by various vendors. Examples of socket standards ensuring a standard physical interface (pin-out) of a flash device are thin small-outline packages (TSOP) 48, thin shrink outline package (TSSOP), land grid array (LGA) 52, and ball grid array (BGA) 63 packages. The various standards mentioned above have different footprints on the circuit board and require different sockets for connection. For example, a flash device consistent with the TSOP-48 standard has 48 pins at the pin-out, and has body width of 12mm and a body length of 18.4mm. Similarly, other standards have different pins counts and body dimensions thus requiring a socket of different construction.

A flash device is connected in a point-to-point configuration to the host/microprocessor. Thus, when the flash device type (standards such as TSOP-48, WSOP-48, LGA-52, and BGA-63) of the flash device used on-board is changed, the board needs to be re-designed. The flash device is changed for reasons such as flash device obsolescence, changes in flash device capacity requirements, lead-free flash replacements, and so forth.

A system for interfacing a flash device with a host is provided. The system includes one or more flash devices inserted in one or more flash device sockets that conform to socket type standards such quad flat package (QFP), TSSOP, BGA, and so forth. Further, the system includes a field programmable gate array (FPGA) switch connected to each of the flash device sockets and a host. The FPGA switch is programmed to interface with a flash device of a predetermined type.  The FPGA switch serves as a bridge between the flash device and the host and modifies the data transmitted to and from the flash device to make the data suitable for the flash device and the host respectively.

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic diagram of a system 100, in...