Applications from smart meters to manufacturing lines, that require repetitive task data-logging, must be able to automatically restore content if power is disrupted during processing. Current low-density (64 Kb to 1Mb) NVRAM solutions used for these data logs are typically the highest price-per-bit memory in the resulting end products.
EERAM is a standalone non-volatile RAM memory that uses the same SPI and I2C protocols as serial SRAM, enabling devices to retain SRAM content during power loss without using an external battery. All non-volatile aspects of the part are essentially invisible to the user. When the device detects power going away, it automatically transfers the SRAM data to non-volatile storage and moves it back to the SRAM once power returns to the part. In manufacturing lines, for example, stations handle up to millions of tasks over their lifetimes and lost data during a task can require overhauling or discarding items. EERAMs automatically store SRAM content in these settings, allowing the manufacturing line to resume where the task was disrupted.
The primary reason EERAM is available at a lower price point is the use of standard Complementary Metal-oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) and Flash processes. Because these are the highest volume and most widely used processes, they offer the best reliability and lowest cost in the industry. Alternative solutions such as Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) use a specialty process, resulting in much higher costs and unstable long-term supply. The new EERAM family comes with Microchip’s customer-driven obsolescence practice, which helps ensure availability to customers for as long as needed.
Microchip Technology – www.microchip.com