The mobile device market continues to increase rapidly, largely powered by tablet and, even more so, smartphone sales. Shrinking PC purchases are being offset by mobile computing and communications device sales, with compute mobility becoming a “must have” for many consumers. The incorporation of sensors in smartphones is also rising. For example, the Galaxy S4 smartphone integrates several different sensors, including an accelerometer, RGB light, geomagnetic, proximity, gyroscope, barometer, temperature, pressure, humidity and infrared. Embedded NVM can be used with all of these sensors to optimize the various smartphone subsystems.
The smartphone is of particular interest since it comprises a personal computer and organizer, video and still-image camera, music player, mobile TV and gaming platform, in addition to voice communicator. Additionally the proliferation of more connected devices and the emergence of the “Internet of Things” will bring wireless communication capability to more household devices that can communicate with each other and also be accessed by smartphones.
The large volumes and wide range of ICs used in a smartphone, including application processors, baseband processors, camera modules, wireless chipsets, power management ICs, and sensors, are driving the development of new devices and new technologies to support them. Such trends and developments in the industry include:
- Advanced processes in smaller geometries
- Specialized process technologies for power management, MEMS and analog sensors
- Advanced packaging to reduce size and cost
- A need for higher levels of data and code security
- More device integration to bring in more functions into fewer devices
Smartphones and other mobile devices represent many opportunities for secure, reliable, low-power and low-cost embedded OTP for a variety of applications, including code storage, encryption keys, analog circuit and sensor calibration, ID tags and chip and processor configuration.