The new series of products launch SPI interface eeram products for the first time, with a maximum density of 1 MB.

From smart meters to production lines, applications that require repeated task data recording must be able to automatically recover content in the event of power interruption during processing. The low-density (64 kb to 1MB) nonvolatile serial RAM (NVRAM) solution currently used for these data recording is usually the most expensive terminal product based on the unit price of storage per bit. Microchip Technology Inc. (American microchip technology company) today announced the launch of a new series of serial peripheral interface (SPI) eeram memory products. Compared with the current serial NVRAM products, the new products can save up to 25% of the cost for system designers. The new series adds four reliable SPI densities ranging from 64 kb to 1 MB to microchip’s eeram product portfolio.

Eeram is an independent nonvolatile RAM memory. Using the same SPI and I2C protocols as serial SRAM, the device can retain SRAM content during power failure without using external battery. The user can hardly see all the nonvolatile parts of the device. When the device detects that the power supply is exhausted, it will automatically transfer the SRAM data to the nonvolatile memory, and move the data back to the SRAM when the power supply is restored. Take the production line as an example, the workstation will process millions of tasks in its whole life cycle, and the loss of data during the task may cause the maintenance of the production line or the scrapping of articles. Eeram will automatically store SRAM content in these scenarios, so that the production line can resume operation from the point of task interruption.

The lower price of eeram is due to the use of standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and flash memory processes. Because these devices use the highest yield and most widely used process, they can provide the best reliability and the lowest cost in the industry. Alternative solutions such as ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) use special processes, which are not only costly, but also unstable in long-term supply. The new eeram series has microchip’s customer driven “obsolescence mode” to help ensure that customers are supplied within the time they need.

Randy drwinga, vice president of microchip memory products, said: “Eeram provides system designers with reliable and cost-effective nonvolatile RAM solutions required by the system. A few years ago, we first launched 4KB and 16kb density products and achieved good market response. Our new series of products provide SPI interface for the first time and expand the density to 1 megabit, providing more choices to meet customers’ system design needs.”

Supply and pricing

The following devices are packaged in 8-pin SOIC, soij and DFN and have been officially mass produced. Starting from 10000 pieces, the unit price is:

·48l640 (64 kb SPI), starting at US $0.70 per tablet

·48l256 (256 KB SPI), starting from $1.40 per tablet

·48l512 (512 KB SPI), starting from US $2.10 per piece

·48lm01 (1 MB SPI), starting from US $2.90 per piece

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