Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of non-volatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) and integrated semiconductor products, today announced that its FM24CL16 – a 16Kbit, 3V serial FRAM memory device – has been qualified to AEC-Q100 (Automotive Electronic Council’s Stress Test Qualification for Integrated Circuits) standards. Ramtron is aggressively pursuing plans to grow a broad line of AEC-Q100-qualified FRAM products to meet the design and sourcing challenges of the automotive market. This qualification program has been developed to support a number of customer design-ins from in-cab applications to the vehicle’s most stringent environments.
“FRAM’s NoDelay(TM) writes sets it apart as the only non-volatile memory technology suitable for advanced automotive electronic systems such as adaptive cruise control,” says Ramtron vice president Mike Alwais. “The FM24CL16 has been designed into such systems and is now qualified for automotive applications as a reliable, high-quality component.”
The AEC-Q100-qualification program comes in tandem with the growing need for better non-volatile data storage solutions in automotive sub-systems. Electronic content in vehicles is becoming ‘smarter’ with the use of microcontrollers and sensors; FRAM already plays an integral role in high-content applications such as intelligent airbags, occupant sensors, infotainment systems, anti-pinch/trap sunroofs, automatic transmission, adaptive cruise control, steer by wire, etc. because it offers what older memories like EEPROM and Flash cannot: fast writes, high endurance and low power consumption. Ramtron is also developing a number of FRAM configurations specified for the Grade 1 (-40 degrees to 125 degrees C) operating range.
The FM24CL16 is a 16 Kbit non-volatile RAM with an industry standard 2-wire interface. Pin-compatible with comparable EEPROM devices, but far superior, the FM24CL16 reads and writes at bus speeds up to 1MHz with virtually unlimited endurance, 45 years of data retention and low power. It operates at 2.7 to 3.6 volts over the industrial temperature range (-40 to +85 degrees C), draws 75 microamps (µA) for reads and writes at 100 kHz. This serial FRAM device provides unparalleled non-volatile memory for data collection and storage in automotive electronics. Fast writes are beneficial when capturing data from sensors, especially in noisy automotive environments or when power may suddenly fail, such as smart airbags and crash recorders. High endurance enables designers to capture information as often as they wish without the risk of wearing out the memory. Low power is an added benefit in applications with ever-lower power budgets such as car entertainment systems.
In 1994, the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) established the AEC-Q100 qualification standard, which is recognized worldwide as a benchmark for automotive systems. Electronic components that meet AEC-Q100 standards are deemed reliable, high-quality components suitable for use in the harsh automotive environment without additional component-level qualification testing.
Ramtron International Corporation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialised semiconductor memory, microcontroller and integrated semiconductor solutions used in a wide range of product applications and markets worldwide. Additionally, Ramtron works with various leading-edge licensees and manufacturers to bring its technology to market.