Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) is used for persistent data and secure code storage in a wide range of electronic systems in automotive, mil-aero, power management IC (PMIC), mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. NVM comes in different flavors including multiple-time programmable (MTP), few-time programmable (FTP), and one-time programmable (OTP). When determining the ideal NVM solution, designers must consider scalability, reliability, product specifications, and availability on the target semiconductor manufacturing process. Other considerations like bit count, endurance, access time, programming time, temperature, and operation voltage also come into play as designers make trade-offs to find a solution that best serves their needs.
Many applications do not need the re-programmability in the field and OTP has quickly become the embedded NVM of choice due to its broad availability in standard Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) processes, scalability, high reliability, and security. OTP NVM targets a wide range of applications ranging from storing a few bits of authentication information to product configuration, calibration or even firmware for today’s system-on-chip (SoC) designs. OTP NVM can be based on the floating-gate, eFuse, or antiFuse technology, each with its own unique advantages. This article describes the advantages of OTP NVM, based on antiFuse technology, as the most secure and reliable embedded NVM solution for applications.