A 256-Mbit flash memory has been developed using a NAND cell structure with a shallow trench isolation (STI) process. A tight bit-line pitch of 0.55 μm is achieved with 0.25-μm STI. The memory cell is shrunk to 0.29 μm2, which realizes a 130-mm2, 256-Mbit flash memory. Peripheral transistors are scaled with memory cells in order to reduce fabrication process steps. A voltage down converter, which generates 2.5-V constant internal power source, is applied to protect the scaled transistors. An improved bit-line clamp sensing scheme achieves 3.8-μs first access time in spite of long and tight pitch bit-line. A 1-kbyte page mode with 35-ns serial data out realizes 25-Mbyte/s read throughput. An incremental step pulse with a bit by bit verify scheme programs 1-k cells in 1-V Vt distribution within 200 μs. That realizes 4.4-Mbyte/s programming throughput.
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