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Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (F-RAM) | Cypress Semiconductor

Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (F-RAM)

Block Diagram

Cypress’s F-RAMs are the industry’s most energy-efficient and highest-reliability nonvolatile RAM solutions for both serial and parallel interfaces. They are ideal for systems that require the nonvolatile data retention of a ROM and the high speed and high endurance of a RAM. They provide 100 trillion endurance cycles, exceeding the 1 million write cycle limitation of EEPROM and NOR flash memories and eliminating the need for wear leveling to support a product over its lifespan. The ferroelectric material in the F-RAM memory cells is highly resistant to influence by radiation and magnetic field exposure, providing soft error rate immunity and making it a superior alternative to MRAM. Cypress's F-RAM products are ideal for mission-critical and low power applications such as smart meters, automotive electronics, industrial control and automation equipment, multifunction printers, wearables, internet of things (IoT), and portable medical devices.

The following block diagram shows F-RAM usages in various applications and available design collaterals to help you design with Cypress’s F-RAM products.


AN304 - SPI Guide for F-RAM™AN302 - F-RAM™ SPI Read and Write Internal Operation and Data ProtectionAN89659 - Interfacing SPI F-RAM with PSoC® 4AN96578 - Designing with I2C F-RAM™AN101 - F-RAM as One-Chip Solution for Code and Data Memory ApplicationsAN408 - A Design Guide to SPI F-RAM™ Processor Companion - FM33256BAN407 - A Design Guide to I2C F-RAM™ Processor CompanionsAN400 - Generating a Power-Fail Interrupt using the F-RAM Processor Companion Power- Fail ComparatorAN401 - Charging Methods for the F-RAM RTC Backup CapacitorAN402 - F-RAM™ RTC Oscillator Design GuideAN404 - F-RAM RTC Backup Supply (VBAK pin) and UL ComplianceAN87352 - F-RAM™ for Smart E-MetersAN96614 - Migrating from SPI EEPROM to Cypress's SPI F-RAM™AN97798 - Migrating from I2C EEPROM to Cypress's I2C F-RAM™AN96592 - Migrating from Everspin’s 4-Mbit SPI MRAM (MR2xH40) to Cypress’s 4-Mbit SPI F-RAM (CY15B104Q)AN100 - Replacing SRAM with FM1608B, FM16W08, FM1808B, or FM18W08AN108 - Migrating from FM18L08 to FM28V020AN109 - Migrating from FM20L08 to FM28V100F-RAM Parallel Product Selector GuideF-RAM Serial Product Selector GuideF-RAM Processor Companion Product Selector GuideF-RAM DatasheetsF-RAM White PapersF-RAM Knowledge Base ArticlesCY15FRAMKIT-001: Cypress's Serial F-RAM™ Development Kit (Arduino™-Compatible)F-RAM ModelsF-RAM Application Notes

Design Considerations

Nonvolatile Memory (NVM) Design Challenges:

Many electronic devices must reliably capture and store large amounts of data in NVM on power loss

  • Alternative nonvolatile memories such as EEPROMs and Flash require a 5 ms to 10 ms continuation of active power per Page Write
  • Page Write time requires additional capacitors or batteries to save the Page data on power loss, increasing the cost and reducing system’s reliability
  • Mission-critical data can be lost when memory is corrupted by exposure to radiation or magnetic fields

Many data-logging applications exceed EEPROM’s 1 million (1,000,000) or Flash’s 100 thousand (100,000) write-cycle limitation

  • Wear Leveling is required to improve the Write Endurance of EEPROMs and Flash over a product lifespan
  • Wear Leveling requires up to 8x the memory capacity of EEPROMs or up to 80x the memory capacity of Flash and additional software development, increasing the BOM cost and the engineering effort

Systems using EEPROM, Flash, or MRAM consume excess active power

  • EEPROMs and Flash need to be active for an additional 5 ms to 10 ms to complete the Page Write, thus consume excessive active power
  • EEPROMs and Flash require Wear Leveling which consume additional power
  • MRAM draw excessive power due to its very high active and standby currents

Battery backed SRAM (BBSRAM) solutions force undesirable tradeoffs

  • Batteries consume board space and require a power-management controller, increasing system cost and complexity
  • Batteries have a limited lifetime, which adds cost by requiring periodic system maintenance and downtime
  • Data is lost if battery is drained before power is restored, this poses serious challenges in mission critical systems
  • Batteries contain heavy metals that violate RoHS regulations

Cypress’s F-RAM solves these problems:

  • Eliminates Page Write time and the need for additional capacitors or batteries on power loss
  • Provides 100 trillion write cycles (up to 31,710 years with every 10-ms write interval), eliminating the need for Wear Leveling
  • Consumes 2x to 5x less active power than EEPROM/Flash and 45x less active power than MRAM
  • It is an intrinsic nonvolatile memory, hence requires no batteries to retain data on power loss for unlimited period. This meets RoHS regulations
  • Stores data reliably on power loss without the need for external power-management circuits and firmware
  • Magnetic field immunity makes F-RAM an ideal nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) solution for all applications susceptible to magnetic field exposure

Cypress’s high-reliability F-RAMs offer 100 million times the endurance of EEPROM and consumes less active power than EEPROM and MRAM.

Cypress's F-RAMs are perfect fit for the mission-critical systems that require NVRAM solutions to instantly capture and reliably protect vital data.