Image Credit: Mouser Electronics
FRAM memory chips have memory cells that contain a specific ferroelectric material such as a crystal of zirconium or titanium, or oxygen and lead. FRAM memory chips memory is much faster than Flash memory.
What is a FRAM Memory Chip?
Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) is a type of non-volatile memory based on electric field orientation and with near-unlimited number (exceeding 1010 for 5V devices and even more for 3.3V ones) of write-erase cycles. FRAM memory chips combines the advantages of SRAM in which writing is roughly as fast as reading (70-200 ns), and EPROM non-volatility and in-circuit programmability. Non-volatile FRAM memory offers an optimized, easy-to-use solution for a variety of advanced electronic metering systems, whether metering electricity, water, gas, or heat. FRAM memory chips do not yet offer the bit density of DRAM and SRAM, but they are non-volatile and faster than Flash/EEPROM memory (write times under 100 nanoseconds), and they have very low power requirements.
What does memory do? Video Credit: Crucial
FRAM Memory Chip Manufacturing
FRAM memory technology is compatible with industry standard CMOS manufacturing processes. A ferroelectric thin film is placed over CMOS base layers and sandwiched between two electrodes. Metal interconnect and passivation completes the process. It is possible to make a ferroelectric memory chip using two additional masking steps during normal semiconductor manufacture, leading to the possibility of full integration of FRAM into microcontrollers and other chips. Flash typically requires nine masks. This makes FRAM particularly attractive as an embedded non-volatile memory on microcontrollers, where the simpler process can reduce costs. However, FRAM memory semiconductors used to make FRAM memory chips are not commonly used elsewhere in integrated circuit manufacturing. FRAM memory chips are designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.
FRAM Memory Chip Applications
FRAM memory chips are used in many applications. Typically FRAM memory chips are found in electronics devices for storing small amounts of non-volatile data. Small FRAM memory chips with serial interfaces are commonly found in many electronics devices. A main vendor of FRAM memory chips is Ramtron International.