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Date: 17th July 2011

256/128/64Kb FRAM chips with SPI interface from Fujitsu

Fujitsu Semiconductor America has released new FRAM chips and FRAM based RFID devices. FRAM is used in industrial systems, factory automation, metering, and many other low-power applications that require high-performance, non-volatile memory where high read/write cycle capability is required compared to flash memory.

The new FRAM chips with SPI interface include 256-Kbit MB85RS256A, the 128-Kbit MB85RS128A and the 64-Kbit MB85RS64A. These devices operate from a supply voltage of 3.0V - 3.6V and provides 10 billion write/read cycles with data retention of 10 years at 55°C.

These 0.18um (micron) made FRAM chips operate at frequency up to 25MHz. FRAMs are said to be 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.

Fujitsu also has developed standalone FRAM devices with I²C bus interface and parrllel interface. The MB85RCxxx series with I2C interface MB85Rxxx series with parallel interface. These standalone devices are available in density levels ranging from 16Kbit to 1Mbit.

Fujitsu also is sampling 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 64Kbytes EPC Global Gen 2 RFID chip. Fujitsu says this family of high-density, FRAM-based RFID products enables robust tracking applications. According to Fujitsu, these 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 suggested for medical electronics and pharmaceutical applications.

Tong Swan Pang, senior manager of marketing at Fujitsu Semiconductor America, cited the benefits to global markets of the company's ability to control design, manufacturing process technology and production schedules. "Fujitsu recently completed the migration of FRAM products from the company's older line in the Iwate fabrication facility to a newer line in Mie, Japan, which has been manufacturing ICs using the highly-efficient 0.18 micron technology for several years," he said "Because Fujitsu owns its fabrication facilities, the company can ensure a more reliable and stable supply to meet the steadily increasing market demand for FRAM products. This is a key advantage that Fujitsu offers its customers compared to fabless suppliers that out-source their production and thus might be subject to supply interruptions."

A non-volatile memory with data retention of at least 10 years, FRAM can ideally replace all battery back-up solutions and enable environmentally friendly products. FRAM standalone memory devices are widely used in metering and factory automation applications as well as in various industrial segments where data logging, high-speed write access and high endurance is essential. The ferroelectric material in FRAM is highly resistant to magnetic fields and radiation, making it also well suited for applications in the medical, aerospace and food industries.

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