STM ST21F384 World’s First 90nm Secure Microcontroller with Embedded Flash for Smart Cards

STMicroelectronics recently announced a new secure microcontroller (MCU) based on embedded Flash memory, which is the first in the world to be produced using 90nm (90 nanometer) process technology. The ST21F384 – the first secure micro within ST’s established ST21 smartcard platform, optimized for 2.5G and 3G mobile communications – uses Flash memory in place of mask ROM for its program memory, to provide increased flexibility and shorter lead times for manufacturers, coupled with increased cost-efficiency from its 90nm production. With application code stored in Flash memory, card manufacturers will no longer pay ROM mask costs; in addition, the code itself can be smaller, as it is only necessary to implement the features required for the final customer, rather than creating a general solution. ST’s on-chip Flash loader provides cost-efficient operating system loading.

The ST21F384 is available as sawn or unsawn wafers, and in 6-contact (D17) and 8-contact (D95) RoHS-compliant modules, with contact assignment compatible with ISO 7816-2. In wafer form it is priced at $0.45 in quantities of 100,000 units.