Fujitsu Semiconductor America, Inc. (FSA) today introduced a new series of advanced ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) products designed and manufactured by Fujitsu to meet the rapidly increasing demand for FRAM in industrial systems, factory automation, metering, and many other low-power applications that require high-performance, non-volatile memory.
The new MB85RSxxx SPI FRAM family includes three different devices: the 256-Kbit MB85RS256A, the 128-Kbit MB85RS128A and the 64-Kbit MB85RS64A. All three operate at voltage ranges between 3.0V and 3.6V and provide an industry-leading 10 billion write/read cycles, as well as data retention of 10 years at 55 degrees C.
The new series is based on Fujitsu's latest 0.18um (micron) FRAM technology and features a maximum operating frequency of 25MHz, a significant improvement over the company's previous FRAM devices. Since voltage boosters are unnecessary for the writing process, the new FRAMs are well-suited for low-power applications. All the MB85RSxxx series devices are offered in 8-pin, plastic SOP packages with standard memory pin assignment, which are fully compatible with E2PROM devices.
In addition to the SPI FRAM family, Fujitsu also has developed standalone FRAM devices featuring the I2C (MB85RCxxx series) and parallel interfaces (MB85Rxxx series). These standalone devices are available in density levels ranging from 16Kbit to 1Mbit and with a product roadmap that includes higher densities to meet future market demands.
Fujitsu also is sampling its high-performance, high-density RFID chips. These high-frequency FRAM-based RFID products, which comply with the ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC18000-3 standards, are available in 256-bytes and 2Kbytes memory variations. In addition, Fujitsu is sampling RFIDs that comply with EPC Global Gen 2, and which provide 4Kbytes of FRAM and an alternate SPI interface.
Fujitsu's near-term roadmap includes the industry's largest 64Kbytes EPC Global Gen 2 RFID chip. This family of high-density, FRAM-based RFID products enables robust tracking applications. The chips offer a traceable audit trail at the item level that includes not just a basic identification code, but also detailed historical, tracking or other records that trace an object through the supply chain and throughout its lifecycle. Since FRAM has a high tolerance against radiation, these RFID chips are suitable for various medical and pharmaceutical applications.
RE: archaic densities. You’re right if we compare this to NAND for today’s high volume consumer applications even if we include Fujitsu’s 1M that is also listed on their website. But what about power consumption, endurance, and speed? FRAM demand depends on how fast the volume grows for hi-rel mobile apps. IMO this was more about the intro of the .18micron process. Cost/performance of charge storage technologies at sub-20nm is also TBD.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.