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New 1Mb EERAM Memory Solutions From Microchip

Devices retain SRAM content during power loss allowing devices to quickly resume operation once power is restored

From smart meters to manufacturing lines, applications 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) nonvolatile serial RAM (NVRAM) solutions used for these datalogs are typically the highest price-per-bit memory in the resulting end products. Microchip has announced a new family of Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) EERAM memory products that offer system designers up to 25 percent cost savings over the current serial NVRAM alternatives. The family introduces four reliable SPI densities to Microchip’s EERAM portfolio, ranging from 64 Kb up to 1 Mb.

Click for Larger Image - New 1Mb EERAM Memory Solutions From Microchip EERAM is a standalone nonvolatile 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 nonvolatile aspects of the part are essentially invisible to the user. When the device detects power going away, it automatically transfers the SRAM data to nonvolatile 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.

“EERAM gives system designers the reliable, cost-effective nonvolatile RAM solutions their systems require. We received a great response to our initial launch of 4 Kb and 16 Kb densities a few years ago,” said Randy Drwinga, vice president of Microchip’s memory products division. “This new family offers our first SPI interface products and extends to one megabit, giving customers more options to meet their system design needs.”

Features of the Microchip SPI Serial EERAM ICs

  • Up to 1Mb Serial SRAM with internal nonvolatile data backup
  • High-Speed SPI Interface: Up to 66MHz with Schmitt trigger inputs for noise suppression
  • Low-Power CMOS Technology: Active current: 5 mA (maximum); Standby current: 500 µA (maximum); Hibernate current: 3 µA (maximum)
  • Cell-Based Nonvolatile Backup mirrors SRAM array cell-for-cell and transfers all data to/from SRAM cells in parallel (all cells at same time)
  • Invisible-to-User Data Transfers: VCC level monitored inside device, SRAM automatically saved on power disrupt, and SRAM automatically restored on VCC return
  • 100,000 Backups Minimum
  • 100 years retention
  • Operating Voltage Range: 2.7V-3.6V

More information on the EERAM range of products can be found on the Microchip website at Microchip EERAM series page

Note: The Microchip name and logo, 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, 2nd December, 2019]