HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Gamma Sterilization
tekochip   4/14/2012 9:26:02 AM
NO RATINGS
Another great advantage of FRAM is that it will hold up to gamma sterilization.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More info about FRAM technology
Charles Murray   4/13/2012 6:41:44 PM
NO RATINGS
FRAM is also getting used used in remote structural monitoring applications -- bridges, buildings, etc -- because it provides a 250X power savings.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=230477

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
More info about FRAM technology
Jon Titus   4/3/2012 11:05:07 AM
NO RATINGS
Wikipedia has a good article about FRAM technology and it notes Ramton has worked with Texas Instruments for over 10 years, so that also might explain TI's interest in replacing high-power Flash memory and SRAM with FRAM. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferroelectric_RAM.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why FRAM?
Ann R. Thryft   4/3/2012 9:03:02 AM
NO RATINGS

Thanks, Jon, for that info. That makes sense. Back in the day when I covered memory, I used to wish I could write more about FRAM since it seemed like such a nifty technology for specific applications. That adjustable partitioning looks especially useful.


Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why FRAM?
Jon Titus   4/2/2012 12:11:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi,Ann.  I bet TI put the FRAM in the MSP430 first because this MCU appeals to engineers who need to save as much power as possible. Because the FRAM operates from a 1.5-volt supply, it doesn't require a charge-pump circuit to produce the higher voltage needed by flash memory. That saves energy right away. According to TI, the FRAM section reduces memory power use by a factor of as high as 250 times. The FRAM also has faster throughput for read/write cycles and a very long life for such cycles.  One additional capability--as noted already in a comment--gives programmers the capability to divide memory as they choose and adjust the partition as storage needs change. The entire memory-address range operates within the FRAM. So if you need only 1 kbyte of storage for temporary data, you can have 15 kbytes left for a program.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why FRAM?
Ann R. Thryft   3/29/2012 12:42:50 PM
NO RATINGS

Thanks, tekochip and Chuck. I didn't realize that licensing issues were one of, if not the, major hindrance to wider adoption of FRAM. I'm still curious to know why TI put it in this MCU vs some other one.


Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why FRAM?
Charles Murray   3/28/2012 8:01:13 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Ann. Everybody on the electronics and materials beats seemed to be writing about FRAM for a decade before anything happend. TI finally incorporated it into a microcontroller about a year ago.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=230477

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Why FRAM?
Charles Murray   3/28/2012 7:55:42 PM
NO RATINGS
MSP430 continues to push the state of the art in power consumption. Interesting that they chose the name "Wolverine," although it apparently did not help the University of Michigan during March Madness.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Why FRAM?
tekochip   3/28/2012 4:08:08 PM
NO RATINGS
I believe using FRAM came from Ramtron finally being able to free up its licensing and other business concerns. I was fortunate enough to use a FRAM part recently and it performed exactly as described on the label. Other than the low current capability the technology also allows you to have a very free memory map, and interesting features like self-modifying code. TI really has something, rather than just introducing a faster/smarter micro, they truly have a new innovation.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Why FRAM?
Ann R. Thryft   3/28/2012 12:21:13 PM
NO RATINGS

Jon, interesting that the MSP430 Wolverine uses FRAM. I remember writing about this memory type years ago, but it never seemed to catch on in a big way although its benefits were obvious. Any idea if that's changed? Or why TI chose it for this specific MCU? 




Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
A bold, gold, open-air coupe may not be the ticket to automotive nirvana for every consumer, but Lexus’ LF-C2 concept car certainly turned heads at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. What’s more, it may provide a glimpse of the luxury automaker’s future.
Perhaps you didn't know that there are a variety of classes, both live and archived, offered via the Design News Continuing Education Center (CEC) sponsored by Digi-Key? The best part – they are free!
Engineer comic Don McMillan explains the fun engineers have with team-building exercises. Can you relate?
The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
The damage to Sony from the cyber attack seems to have been heightened by failure to follow two basic security rules.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jan 12 - 16, Programmable Logic - How do they do that?
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service