Systems needing repetitive task data logging need to be able to restore data automatically in case of power disruption during processing. These systems may vary from manufacturing lines to applications and smart meters. At present, the best solutions offered in this respect are low density nonvolatile serial RAM solutions. The main issue with these systems is high price-per-bit memory that pushes up the price of end products.
Microchip Technology Inc. recently addressed this problem by bringing in a new family of SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) EERAM memory products. The new system provides system designers with up to 25% cost savings against the present day serial NVRAM options.
The family adds four highly reliable SPI densities to Microchip’s EERAM profile ranging from 64Kb to 1Mb. EERAM refers to a standalone non-volatile RAM memory that makes use of similar SPI and I2C protocols that are used by SRAM.
This feature allows the EERAM to keep SRAM content even after a power loss without needing any external source of power. The non-volatile aspects of EERAM are invisible to users.
How does it work?
As and when the device detects power receding, it transfers all SRAM data to non-volatile storage. As soon as power returns, it brings back all the data back to SRAM maintaining the system’s status quo before power loss. It will be a highly useful feature in systems like manufacturing lines and smart meters.
EERAM is an affordable option because Microchip used Flash processes and the standard Complementary Metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS). Since these are most widely used and highest volume processes, these can be preferred for their lower cost and reliability in the industry. Other alternative solutions, such as FRAM (Ferroelectric RAM), make use of a special process that leads to instability and higher costing in the long-term.
The following devices can be availed in 8-pin SOIC, DFN, and SOIJ packaging. The pricing is mentioned in 10000-unit quantities.
● 48LM01 (1 MB SPI) with pricing starting at $2.99.
● 48L512 (512 Kb SPI) with pricing beginning at $2.10.
● 48L256 (256 kb SPI) with pricing beginning at $1.40.
● 48L640 (64 Kb SPI) with pricing beginning at $0.70.
“EERAM gives system designers the reliable, cost-effective non-volatile RAM solutions their systems require,” shared Randy Drwinga, VP of Microchip’s memory products division. “We received a great response to our initial launch of 4 Kb and 16 Kb densities a few years ago. This new family offers our first SPI interface products and extends to one megabit, giving customers more options to meet their system design needs.”
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