COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--Ramtron International Corp. here today (March 27) claimed it has developed the industry's first nonvolatile memory product with "unlimited endurance" for read and write cycles. Ramtron is aiming the new 256-kilobit ferrorelectric RAM at replacing low-power SRAMs.
Ramtron said its 256-Kbit FRAM, designated FM18L08, carries an endurance guarantee of at least 10 quadrillion read/write cycles. The Colorado chip supplier said the unlimited endurance specification eliminates a crucial barrier in replacing SRAMs or DRAMs in systems.
The high-endurance FRAM is a result of joint development between Ramtron's Advanced Materials Group and one of its foundry partners, which was not identified by the company.
"We have crafted the ferroelectric material, the electrode system, and the deposition process to achieve a low-voltage, unlimited access memory," said Domokos Hadnagy, vice president of quality and reliability at Ramtron. "This development dispels previous myths about FRAM's and refined PZT's inability to achieve unlimited endurance," asserted Hadnagy, referring to zirconium titanium (PZT), which is used to create the nonvolatile storage cell.
The company claims that each memory location in the 256-Kbit FRAM could be accessed one million times per second, for more than three hundred years, without loss of data retention.
The company claimed that each memory location in the 256-Kbit FRAM could be accessed one million times per second for more than three hundred years without loss of data retention.
"After reaching critical development milestones, including 3-volt operation in January, and unlimited read/write access today, there are few remaining applications that can not take advantage of FRAM technology," stated Mike Alwais, director of marketing at Ramtron. "Today's innovation opens the entire low-power SRAM market to FRAM." Ramtron noted that the low-power SRAM market had $3 billion in sales during 2000, based on an estimate by Semico Research Inc.
The FM18L08 is organized as a 32-kilobit-by-8 nonvolatile random-access memory, featuring an industry-standard SRAM and EEPROM pinout. The FRAM operates from 2.7 to 3.6 volts and draws 15-milliamps active current when running at 70-ns access time.
In quantities of 10,000 units, the FM18L08 sells for $4.50 each. It is housed in a 28-pin SOP and DIP package. Samples are available now.