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Cypress Sees a Future for FRAM

2018-05-10 09:49:37

Does ever-emerging Ferroelectric Random Access Memory(FRAM) have a role in autonomous vehicles? Cypress Semiconductor thinks so.
At the Embedded World trade show in Germany this week, the company unveiled a new serial nonvolatile memory family to meet the performance and reliability demands of mission-critical data capture. In an advance telephone briefing with EE Times, Sonal Chandrasekharan, senior director of Cypress’ RAM Business Unit, said that the Excelon (FRAM) line was designed specifically for the high-speed nonvolatile data logging needed for autonomous vehicles. More broadly, the new FRAM line has applications in a broad range of advanced automotive and industrial applications.
The Excelon Auto series offers 2-Mb to 4-Mb automotive-grade densities, while the Excelon Ultra series offers 4-Mb to 8-Mb industrial-grade densities. Both families are available in low-pin-count, small-package options. The Excelon Auto series is offered in AEC-Q100 extended temperature options with functional safety (ISO 26262) compliance. “It’s the first functional safety-compliant NVRAM in the market,” said Chandrasekharan. “It’s focused really on the safety requirements within the automotive market.”
She said that both Excelon Auto and Ultra are meant for use in transaction logging in automated systems. It’s not a new application. On a factory floor, for example, a robotic arm needs memory that stores its movements in case of a power failure so that it can start again from the exact same point. “On older-generation devices, you used to do that with a static RAM and backed it up with a battery. The battery itself was the most unreliable part of the system. That’s where the need for the non-volatile RAM came up.”
FRAM can offer almost unlimited endurance, added Chandrasekharan. “It is practically an SRAM because you’ll never wear out the cell.” It also writes at very low power, and its data retention is superior to all other technologies. Chandrasekharan said that with the explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Cypress expects that by 2020, nearly 70% of the market will be industrial IoT and require data-logging capabilities.

Keywords:  cypress

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