Ramtron Launches 64kb, 3-volt FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companion

Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of non-volatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) and integrated semiconductor products, has launched the FM3130, a 64 kilobit, 3-volt FRAM-Enhanced(TM) Processor Companion product that combines the benefits of non-volatile ferroelectric RAM with an integrated real-time clock/calendar (RTC) in one tiny package. The FM3130 has been streamlined to further reduce system cost and board space in consumer and computing markets, supporting commonly-needed system functions in applications such as printers and high-definition televisions (HDTVs), without the need for discrete components.

“The FM3130 has been optimised for price-sensitive applications,” explains Mike Alwais, Vice President of Marketing at Ramtron. “This FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companion part has been well-received in consumer-centric markets in Asia and was developed to support a number of specific customer design-ins that are already in place, including HDTVs and printers.”

About the FM3130
The FM3130 combines 64 kilobits of FRAM with a real-time clock/calendar (RTC) that incorporates an alarm and a programmable frequency clock output, and uses a common 12pF watch crystal. The alarm compares user-programmed alarm values to corresponding RTC time/date values, creating an ideal solution for automatic on/off, channel switch and parental control and personal video recorder (PVR) functions in high-end televisions.

An industry-standard 2-wire bus is used to access the memory and to control the RTC. Available in an 8-pin TDFN (thin dual flat no-lead) package that is footprint-compatible with TSSOP8s, or a standard 8-pin, 150-mil SOIC package, the device operates from 2.7 volts to 3.6 volts over the entire industrial temperature range of -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C.

The FM3130 features:

  • 8Kx8 FRAM – 64 kilobits of true non-volatile RAM (not battery-backed). FRAM memory technology replaces system SRAM or non-volatile memory since it reads and writes at bus speed with NoDelay(TM) writes, 10 year data retention and unlimited read/write endurance.
  • Real-Time Clock (RTC) Operation – A timekeeping device that can be battery-backed or capacitor-backed for permanently powered operation. It offers a software calibration feature for high accuracy, an alarm and a programmable frequency clock output.
  • Backup Power – The real-time clock/calendar is intended to be permanently powered. When the primary system power fails, the voltage on the VDD pin will drop. When VDD is less then 2.5V, the RTC (and event counters) will switch to the backup power supply on VBAK. The backup source can be either a battery or capacitor.
  • Trickle Charger – A trickle charger facilitates capacitor backup. The VBAK pin can optionally provide a trickle charge current. Data is non-volatile so it won’t be lost if the capacitor fails.

About the Processor Companion
The Processor Companion is a highly integrated FRAM-enhanced system management solution that supports virtually any microcontroller- or microprocessor-based design. By integrating non-volatile FRAM, individual system features are improved compared with discrete versions, creating a single-chip solution with superior bill-of-material cost and board space.

Pricing and Availability
Samples of the FM3130 are currently available in an 8-pin SOIC package, with pricing starting at $2.20 in 10K quantities.

About Ramtron
Ramtron International Corporation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialized semiconductor memory, microcontroller and integrated semiconductor solutions used in a wide range of product applications and markets worldwide. Ramtron pioneered the integration of ferroelectric materials into semiconductor products, which enabled the development of a new class of nonvolatile memory products called ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) products. FRAM products merge the advantages of multiple memory technologies into a single device that retains information without a power source, can read and write at high speeds, can be written to many times, and consumes low amounts of power. Additionally, Ramtron works with various leading-edge licensees and manufacturers to bring its technology to market.