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Microchip Releases New High-Speed I2C Serial EEPROM

Microchip’s 512 Kbit I2C Serial EEPROM has a 3.4MHz data rate, write protection and programmed serial numbers

Microchip Technology has released the first I2C Serial EEPROM with support for 3.4 Mbit/s data rates, the 24CS512, making it one of the fastest I2C EEPROM in the world. Microchip’s new 24CS family of Serial EEPROMs are now 3 to 4 times faster than previous I2C EEPROMs. The 512 Kbit memory provides a balanced solution for applications that benefit from higher data transfer speeds while retaining the simplicity and cost advantage of the I2C serial bus.

Microchip Releases High-Speed I2C Serial EEPROM

I2C Serial EEPROM bus speeds have previously been limited to 1 MHz, which is not fast enough for larger memory size applications. Engineers requiring faster speeds out of their Serial EEPROMs usually choose a SPI connection, which is specified for up to 20 MHz speeds. The additional cost is normally 30 percent higher for the added speed while making additional sacrifices in noise susceptibility, design complexity and scalability.

For applications requiring many different devices on the same bus, SPI begins to have a scalability problem as each device on the bus requires a separate I/O pin from the microcontroller for the Chip Select function. More I/O pins often leads to requiring a larger microcontroller with more I/O pins. I2C has device addressing built into the bus protocol, making it possible to have many devices on the one bus, all sharing the same clock and data I/O lines. This becomes a key factor in today’s designs which are growing in complexity with a large number of different devices on a single bus.

“Microchip’s new High-Speed Mode I2C Serial EEPROM expands the available options for meeting complex design criteria.” says Barry Blixt, Director of Marketing for the memory products unit at Microchip. “Traditionally the way we look at it, if you need to transfer a large amount of data to a small number of peripherals, then SPI would probably work best. If you need to transfer small amounts of data to many different peripherals, then I2C is likely better. The new 3.4 MHz 24CS512 shifts the trade-off point, enabling more designs to fit in the latter category.”

The 24CS512 includes software write protection, lockable ID page, and pre-programmed 128-bit serial number. Traditional I2C EEPROMs utilize hardware based write protection that will only allow locking or unlocking the entire memory array via an external pin, which severely limits the possible ways to protect data. The 24CS512 retains this legacy feature, but also divides the memory array into 8 different zones and provides the ability to individually write protect any of the zones via software.

The 24CS512 also includes a Lockable ID page feature, which is a separate independent 128-byte memory space from the main array. This feature is designed to be used for storing things like factory calibration settings, manufacturing data, MAC addresses or other identifying information that can be programmed and then set to read-only. Additionally, each 24CS512 comes pre-programmed from the factory with a globally unique 128-bit serial number that can be used as a unique product identifier. This serial number can eliminate the time-consuming step of performing and ensuring serialization of a product across multiple manufacturing lines.

Technical Specifications of the 24CS512 I2C Serial EEPROM

  • 64K x 8 (512 Kbit)
  • 2-Wire Serial Interface, I2C™ Compatible
  • 3.4MHz High Speed Mode Capable
  • Operating voltage 1.7V to 5.5V
  • Pre-programmed 128-bit serial number
  • User-programmable, lockable 128-byte ID page
  • Enhanced Software Write Protection
  • Hardware Write-Protect Pin
  • Built-in Error Correction Code (ECC) Logic
  • Page Write Time 5 ms Max.
  • Standby current 1 µA, max.
  • Cascadable up to Eight Devices
  • Pb-Free and RoHS Compliant
  • Factory Programming Available

More information on the 24CS512 I2C Serial EEPROM can be found on the Microchip website at Microchip 24CS512 Serial EEPROM product page

Note: The Microchip name and the Microchip logo are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies.

The Microchip website address is www.microchip.com
[Reprinted with kind permission from Microchip Corporation - Release Date, 11th August, 2021]