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Ramtron unrolls 'first' FRAM-enhanced 8051 MCU

Posted: 26 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ramtron? VRS51L3074? microcontroller? FRAM?

FRAM-enhanced 8051 MCU

Ramtron International Corp. has launched the VRS51L3074, touted to be the market's first 8051-based microcontroller with non-volatile FRAM memory. The company said it added FRAM into its fast and flexible Versa 8051s for a quick and reliable non-volatile data storage and processing system that only a FRAM-enhanced MCU can provide.

"The VRS51L3074 represents an advance that could fundamentally alter the microcontroller landscape by providing all the advantages of FRAM on an MCU," explains Irv Lustigman, general manager of Ramtron Canada. "The VRS51L3074 is the first in a series of planned products leading to a microcontroller based entirely on FRAM. An all-FRAM MCU could be used for program, data and register memory, eliminating the need for Flash and SRAM altogether."

FRAM simplifies the design cycle by eliminating the code overhead accompanying Flash data storage, and the limited endurance and drawn out write cycles of Flash/EEPROM. Unlike Flash, FRAM bytes can be modified without first erasing an entire sector, rendering it easier to use. And unlike Flash/EEPROM, FRAM provides virtually unlimited read/write cycles and fast data writes.

According to Ramtron, the VRS51L3074 combines 8Kbyte of FRAM memory with a fully-integrated, high-performance SoC. Features include an advanced 40 MIPS, single-cycle 8051-core, 64Kbyte Flash with In-System/In-Application Programming, 4Kbyte SRAM, a JTAG program/debug interface, DSP extensions and a robust digital peripheral set.

Operating at 3.3V over the entire industrial temperature range, the company said the new device offers the ideal embedded DAQ solution, targeting a wide array of applications from sensors and metering to industrial control, instrumentation and medical devices.

The new device includes support peripherals such as an I2C interface, three 16bit general purpose timers/counters with three timer capture inputs, a watchdog timer, and 49 interrupts that share 16 interrupt vectors.

The VRS51L3074 is available in a QFP-64 package. It is currently sampling and costs under $5 in volume.

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