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FRAM Technology Overview

Welcome to the future of embedded memory

As the world demands faster and higher performance in every application, new memory technology is needed to enable smarter solutions. FRAM from Texas Instruments provides unified memory with dynamic partitioning and memory access speeds 100 times faster than flash. FRAM is also capable of zero power state retention in all power modes, which means that writes are guaranteed, even in the event of a power loss. And with a write endurance of over 100 trillion cycles, EEPROM is no longer required. All of this is possible at less than 100μA/MHz active power consumption – a first for the semiconductor industry.

Benefits of embedded FRAM

MSP430 48-pin FRAM Target Board MSP430 48-pin FRAM target board for FR5969 MCUs

The MSP-TS430RGZ48C is a standalone 48-pin ZIF socket target board used to program and debug the MSP430 in-system through the JTAG interface or the Spy Bi-Wire (2-wire JTAG) protocol. The development board supports all MSP430FR59x/58x FRAM parts in a 48-pin QFN package (TI package code: RGZ).

MSP-EXP430FR5739 - Experimenter Board MSP-EXP430FR5739 - Experimenter Board - Only $29 USD

Kit features the MSP430FR5739 mcu with FRAM and includes three switches, 8 LEDs, accelerometer, temperature sensor, headers for RF modules and more!

FRAM for dummies FRAM for Dummies

FRAM MCUs For Dummies shows you what FRAM is, how it works, and why it is a good choice for many modern applications.

FRAM - Ultra-Low-Power Read/Write Ultra-low-power Read/Write With Increased Throughput

MSP430 devices with embedded FRAM are cutting the industry’s best active power consumption by half, achieving sub-100μA/MHz.

Read and writes require just 1.5V, so it is able to operate without a charge pump, unlike Flash and EEPROM. This lowers power and minimizes physical footprint.

FRAM consumes 250x less power than Flash-based devices when running at equal speed (12kB/s)

  • Test case
    • CPU speed @ 8MHz
    • Both memory options capped @ 12kB/s throughput (typical application)
  • FRAM consumes 9μA @ 12kB/s
  • Flash consumes 2200μA @ 12kB/s

FRAM - Ultra-Low Power Read / Write
Both writing to memory at 12kB/s

Summary: At equal throughput, FRAM
consumes 250x less power than Flash

FRAM - True Unified Memory True Unified Memory

FRAM is uniquely flexible offering developers the ability to use the same memory block to function as program memory or data memory. With FRAM, developers can dynamically partition the memory depending on the current stage of the user’s development cycle.

This feature allows faster time to market and simplified inventory control – one single device can be dynamically configured into various memory configurations.

FRAM’s unified memory block can be dynamically configured as program, data or info memory providing unmatched flexibility.

FRAM - True Unified Memory

FRAM - Industry-leading Read/Write Speeds Industry-Leading Read/Write Speeds

In addition to lower power performance, FRAM can also maintain unmatched data throughput. MSP430 with embedded FRAM is capable of 50ns access times, enabling speeds up to 1400 kB/s.

With FRAM, embedded memory is no longer the bottle neck of your application.

FRAM can write more than 100x faster than flash, while consuming less power!

  • Test case
    • CPU speed @ 8MHz
    • Both memory options writing 512B memory blocks
  • FRAM max throughput = 1400kB/s @ 730μA
  • Flash max throughput = 12kB/s @ 2200μA

FRAM - Ultra-Low Power Read / Write
Summary: FRAM maximum throughput is >100x faster than Flash maximum throughput, while still consuming 3x lower power than Flash

FRAM - Unmatched Write Endurance Virtually Unlimited Write Endurance – 1015 Cycles

Embedded FRAM also offers longetivity and endurance that existing memory technologies cannot match. FRAM offers virtually unlimited endurance at 1015 cycles.

This increased write endurance is particularly ideal for datalogging, digital rights management, battery-backed SRAM and other applications.

FRAM offers virtually unlimited write endurance of 1015 cycles – this is 10,000,000,000 times better than Flash!

  • Test case
    • CPU speed @ 8MHz
    • Both memory options capped @ 12kB/s throughput (typical application)
  • FRAM will last for 6.6x10^10 seconds
  • Flash will last for 6.6 minutes

FRAM - Ultra-Low Power Read / Write
Summary: FRAM's increased write endurance enables 10,000,000,000x longer memory life cycles than Flash

FRAM - Inherently Robust and Radiation-resistant Inherently Robust and

FRAM offers additional security and robustness compared to existing Flash and EEPROM technologies. Since FRAM is crystal-based, rather than charge-based, its Terrestrial Soft Error Rate is below detection limits and is not susceptible to radiation.

Additionally its ultra-low power requirements and high speed make FRAM data reads and writes virtually undetectable to unauthorized sniffing or data profiling.

FRAM enables high quality applications.

FRAM - Inherently Secure and Radiation-resistant

TI E2E Community - MSP430 - TI.com
FRAM Tech Documents
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