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Ramtron Introduces 64-kilobit FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companion Tailored to Price-Sensitive Consumer Markets


Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) and integrated semiconductor products, today launched the FM3130, a 64-kilobit (Kb), 3-volt FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companion product that combines the benefits of nonvolatile ferroelectric RAM with an integrated real-time clock/calendar (RTC) in one tiny package. The FM3130 has been streamlined to reduce system cost and board space in consumer and computing applications, supporting commonly-needed system functions in products such as printers and high-definition televisions (HDTVs), without the need for discrete components.

The FM3130 has been optimized for price-sensitive applications, explains Mike Alwais, vice president of Marketing at Ramtron. This FRAM-Enhanced Processor Companion has been well-received in consumer-centric markets in Asia and was developed to support a number of specific customer design-ins that are already in place, including HDTVs and printers.

About the FM3130

The FM3130 combines 64Kb of FRAM with a real-time clock/calendar (RTC) that incorporates an alarm and a programmable frequency clock output, and uses a common 12pF watch crystal. The alarm compares user-programmed alarm values to corresponding RTC time/date values, creating an ideal solution for automatic on/off, channel switch and parental control and personal video recorder (PVR) functions in high-end televisions.

An industry-standard 2-wire bus is used to access the memory and to control the RTC. Available in an 8-pin TDFN (thin dual flat no-lead) package that is footprint-compatible with TSSOP8s, or a standard 8-pin, 150-mil SOIC package, the device operates from 2.7 to 3.6 volts over the entire industrial temperature range (-40 degrees C to +85 degrees C).

FM3130 Features:

8Kx8 FRAM 64 kilobits of true nonvolatile RAM (not battery-backed). FRAM memory technology replaces system SRAM or nonvolatile memory since it reads and writes at bus speed with NoDelay writes, 10 year data retention and unlimited read/write endurance.

Real-Time Clock (RTC) Operation A timekeeping device that can be battery- or capacitor-backed for permanently powered operation. It offers a software calibration feature for high accuracy, an alarm and a programmable frequency clock output.

Backup Power The real-time clock/calendar is intended to be permanently powered. When the primary system power fails, the voltage on the VDD pin will drop. When VDD is less then 2.5V, the RTC (and event counters) will switch to the backup power supply on VBAK. The backup source can be either a battery or capacitor.

Trickle Charger Facilitates capacitor backup. The VBAK pin can optionally provide a trickle charge current. Data is nonvolatile so it wont be lost if the capacitor fails.

About the Processor Companion

The Processor Companion is a highly integrated FRAM-enhanced system management solution that supports virtually any microcontroller- or microprocessor-based design. By integrating nonvolatile FRAM, individual system features are improved compared with discrete versions, creating a single-chip solution with superior bill-of-material cost and reduced board space.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the FM3130 are currently available in an 8-pin SOIC package, with pricing starting at $ 2.20 in 10K quantities.

About Ramtron

Ramtron International Corporation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialized semiconductor memory, microcontroller and integrated semiconductor solutions used in a wide range of product applications and markets worldwide. Ramtron pioneered the integration of ferroelectric materials into semiconductor products, which enabled the development of a new class of nonvolatile memory products called ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) products. FRAM products merge the advantages of multiple memory technologies into a single device that retains information without a power source, can read and write at high speeds, can be written to many times, and consumes low amounts of power. Additionally, Ramtron works with various leading-edge licensees and manufacturers to bring its technology to market. For more product information, visit

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements herein that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” involving risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: the effect of global economic conditions, shifts in supply and demand, market acceptance, the rate at which design-ins result in actual customer orders and sales, the impact of competitive products and pricing, product development, commercialization and technological difficulties, and capacity and supply constraints. Please refer to Ramtrons Securities and Exchange Commission filings for a discussion of such risks.

FRAM-Enhanced and the FRAM-Enhanced logo are trademarks of Ramtron International Corporation.


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