Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (F-RAM) and integrated semiconductor products, has unveiled the industry’s first 2-megabit (Mb) serial F-RAM memory in an 8-lead TDFN (5.0 x 6.0 mm) package. Manufactured on an advanced 130 nanometer CMOS process, the FM25H20 is a high-density nonvolatile F-RAM memory that operates at low power and features a high-speed serial peripheral interface (SPI). The 3-volt, 2Mb serial F-RAM writes at maximum bus speed with virtually unlimited endurance for greater data collection capacity in a tiny package, enabling system designers to reduce costs and board space in a range of advanced applications including meters and printers.
The FM25H20 is an ideal replacement for serial Flash in sophisticated electronic systems that require low power and minimal board space. These include portable medical devices such as hearing aids, which are essentially mini data processors with limited space and low power budgets. F-RAM benefits over Flash include significantly lower operating currents, faster writes, and write endurance that is orders of magnitude greater than Flash.
“The 2Mb serial F-RAM is a natural extension for our metering and printer customers who want to increase data collection capacity in their next-generation applications without increasing board space. The FM25H20 offers our half megabit serial F-RAM customers quadruple the memory in the same small footprint,” explains Duncan Bennett, Ramtron Strategic Manager. “In addition to enhancing existing systems, this technological development moves F-RAM into a range of new markets that require a low-power memory in a very constrained space, such as portable medical devices.”
The FM25H20 is organized as a 256K x 8 bit nonvolatile memory that reads and writes at bus speed up to 40MHz, with essentially unlimited endurance, 10-year data retention, and low operating currents. The device incorporates an industry-standard SPI interface that optimizes F-RAM’s high-speed write capability. A hardware and software write protection feature is also included on the FM25H20 to prevent inadvertent writes and data corruption. The 2Mb serial F-RAM operates at low power, drawing less than 10 milliamps for reads/writes at 40MHz, 80 microamps (typical) in standby, and 3 microamps (typical) in ultra-low-current sleep mode. Pin-compatible with equivalent serial Flash devices, but far superior because of its fast access time, high endurance and low operating current, the 2Mb F-RAM operates from 2.7 to 3.6 volts over the entire industrial temperature range (-40 degrees C to +85 degrees C).
About the Advanced 130 Nanometer Process
The FM25H20 is based on Texas Instruments’ proven 130 nanometer (nm) CMOS manufacturing process. Only two additional mask steps have been used to embed the nonvolatile F-RAM module within the standard CMOS 130nm logic process.
Pricing and Availability
Samples of the FM25H20 are available in an 8-pin TDFN package that is RoHS-compliant and footprint-compatible with 8-pin SOICs. Pricing starts at $10.20 for quantities of 10,000 units.
Ramtron International Corporation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialised semiconductor memory and integrated semiconductor solutions used in a wide range of product applications and markets worldwide.