Electronic Design

Single-Chip Companion Packed With Support For Processor Applications

The FM33x family of FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companions from Ramtron International Corp. combines the benefits of non-volatile RAM with a comprehensive set of integrated support and peripheral functions, including a high-speed serial peripheral interface (SPI). The first two products in the family, the FM33256 and the FM3316, are 3-V devices with 256 kbits and 16 kbits of ferroelectric RAM (FRAM), respectively. The single-chip solutions replace a number of discrete components in processor-based applications, reducing both cost and board space. The FRAM features No Delay writes, virtually unlimited endurance, and low power consumption. Other functions integrated on the chips include a real-time clock/calendar/alarm (RTC), a programmable low-VDD reset, a programmable watchdog timer, a manual reset function, a nonvolatile event counter, a lockable serial number, and a general-purpose comparator that can be used for early-warning power-fail interrupts. The chips run from 2.7 to 3.6 V over the full industrial temperature range of −40°C to 85°C. The SPI Bus runs at up to 16 MHz, providing high-performance serial communication to the host processor. Samples of the FM33x devices are available now in a 14-pin SOIC RoHS-compliant package. Prices start at $3.25 for the FM33256 and $2.25 for the FM3316 in 10,000-piece quantities. For more information, go to www.ramtron.com.

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