Patent Number: 6,166,959

Title: Flash memory array with internal refresh

Abstract: In a flash memory array, an internal refresh periodically rewrites the information stored in each of the rows of memory cells in a flash memory. The flash memory array includes a refresh pointer bitline that indicates the row to be refreshed. In a first embodiment of the present invention, the internal refresh is performed automatically after every user erase/program cycle. In second and third embodiments, the user of the of the flash memory array selects when the internal refresh is performed, but the address of the row to be refreshed is supplied internally. In each of the three the embodiments, the internal refresh includes the four operations of SCAN, REFRESH ERASE, REFRESH PROGRAM, and INCREMENT.

Inventors: Gupta; Anil (San Jose, CA), Schumann; Steve (Sunnyvale, CA)

Assignee: Atmel Corporation

International Classification: G11C 16/10 (20060101); G11C 16/16 (20060101); G11C 16/08 (20060101); G11C 16/06 (20060101); G11C 016/06 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017