STMicro Introduces Single-Chip Level Translators for External Memory Cards

STMicro ST6G3238E

STMicroelectronics has released two 6-bit level translators, available in the 3 x 3 mm microTFBGA25 package, for interfacing the 1.8V or 2.5V signals of mobile phones and other products with the nominal 3.3V levels used by plug-in memory cards.

The ST6G3238E incorporates ESD protection circuits that offer up to 8kV protection on the memory port, allowing direct connection to the external card slot.

An integrated 40-Ohm series resistor on each card-side input aids EMI noise reduction, while on-chip pull-up resistors are provided on the Card Detect and Write Protect Detection inputs. ESD protection on the microprocessor port is 2kV.

STMicroelectronics said that the two devices are the first single-chip level translator solutions on the market for mobile phones and related products.

High memory density, physically small memory cards, such as the SD, Mini-SD and MMC formats, are increasingly common features of mobile phones, set-top boxes (STBs) and PDAs.

The new ST6G3238E is a compact, high-speed and highly cost-effective device for building the interface to an external memory card such as the SD, Mini-SD and MMC formats, with contact ESD protection and card detection. Propagation delay is 4.4 ns (max) for 2.3V/3.0V translation, and quiescent current is 20microA (max) on each side of the interface.

Controlled by a Command line and with Clock synchronisation, the level translators are developed to support two-way asynchronous communication of up to 3+1 bits of bi-directional data between the different voltage systems. Input/output protection is provided when the device is powered down.

The ST6G3238E is available in volume now in a 0.5 mm-ball-pitch microTFBGA25 package. Pricing for the device is $0.90 in quantities of 10,000 pieces.