Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of non-volatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) and integrated semiconductor products, has announced that its FM25C160 – a 16Kbit, 5V, SPI FRAM memory device – has been qualified to AEC-Q100 (Automotive Electronic Council’s Stress Test Qualification for Integrated Circuits) standards. The FM25C160 is the third FRAM device to be AEC-Q100-qualified as part of its aggressive automotive qualification programme. Ramtron is also currently developing various FRAM configurations specified for the Grade 1 (-40 degrees to 125 degrees C) operating range.
“This achievement demonstrates yet again Ramtron’s dedication to meeting the design and sourcing challenges of the automotive market,” explains Ramtron vice president Mike Alwais. “The FM25C160 has already been designed into smart airbags by top automotive system suppliers across the United States, Europe and Asia, including Korea’s Hyundai Autonet. This device is a popular choice for this application due to its 5-volt operating power and serial peripheral interface (SPI).”
FRAM in intelligent airbags
Today’s smart airbags are designed to increase or decrease deployment force based on accident event parameters such as the severity of the crash, the weight of the occupant and the interaction with other safety systems in the car. The parametric data sent to the car’s electronic control unit (ECU) is generated by sensors throughout the cabin, enabling the airbag to deploy “intelligently.” As more sensors are designed into the car, more data needs to be collected. FRAM NoDelay(TM) writes facilitates the collection of more data at higher frequencies, allowing automotive safety systems to act on the timeliest information available.
The FM25C160 is a 16 Kbit non-volatile RAM with an industry-standard SPI that leverages the high-speed write capability of FRAM technology. A direct hardware replacement for equivalent EEPROMs, yet far superior, the FM25C160 reads and writes at bus speeds up to 20MHz with virtually unlimited endurance (1 trillion writes), 45-year data retention and low power. It operates at 5 volts over the industrial temperature range (-40 to +85 degrees C) and is available in a “green” 8-pin SOIC package.
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.
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.