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FRAM FAQ

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| FRAM Outline | Comparing with Other Memories | FRAM Characteristics, Specs, Supports |


FRAM Outline

Comparing with Other Memories

SRAM

EEPROM, Flash memory

Other memories

FRAM Characteristics, Specs, Supports

Read/Write Cycles

Data Retention

Others


FRAM Outline

Question What is FRAM?

Answer FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) is a non-volatile memory that uses a ferroelectric film as a capacitor to store data. FRAM has the characteristics of both ROM (Read Only Memory) and RAM (Random Access Memory), and features faster write, great read/write cycle endurance, and low power consumption. Please visit our website on FRAM products in detail.

Question Has FRAM already been used in any applications today?

Answer Yes. Since started mass production of FRAM in 1999, Fujitsu Semiconductor has been assuring high quality and stable supply of FRAM products to our valued customers for over a decade.

Question What kinds of applications has FRAM been adopted?

Answer FRAM has been adopted in the applications that require memory in small density and frequent data writing. Examples of applications are; OA equipment such as MFP for counter and print record, FA equipment such as measuring device and analyzer for parameters stored and data logging, financial terminal such as ATM for transaction history, metering in infrastructure, car navigation systems and audio equipment. Please visit our website for other applications.

Question I'm not familiar to FRAM. Does FRAM have any different control or operation compared to conventional memories?

Answer FRAM products don't have any difficulty to use, because FRAM products are compatible with standard memories such as EEPROM and low power SRAM. FRAM with serial interface (I2C, SPI) are compatible function as serial EEPROM or serial flash memory. FRAMs with parallel interface can be used as low power SRAM known as pseudo SRAM or battery-backup SRAM.

Question Are FRAM, F-RAM, and FeRAM the same ones?

Answer Yes. All FRAM, F-RAM, and FeRAM mean the Ferroelectric Random Access Memory.

Question I'd like to evaluate FRAM samples. How or where can I get evaluation samples?

Answer You can use 3 options linked from on our website. You can get some FRAM samples through "Buy via Online" linked to external online shopping site. Or, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide through "Global Contacts", or request us evaluation samples through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form."

Question Where can I get the brochures, datasheets, or presentation materials for FRAM?

Answer You can get FRAM brochures and FRAM datasheets from our website. If you prefer to have more detailed materials for FRAM products, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide through "Global Contacts", or request us the documents through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form."

Question Where is the locations of wafer fab? Foundry?

Answer Wafer process fab for FRAM is a plant of Aizu Fujitsu Semiconductor in Fukushima, Japan.

Question I'd like to know more details on FRAM. Can I have a meeting with Fujitsu Semiconductor?

Answer Yes, we're pleased. Please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your requirements through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question Is there any company who manufactures and provides FRAM products?

Answer Yes. There are several FRAM suppliers in worldwide.

Question Does Fujitsu plan to develop any FRAM products with RTC?

Answer Regarding future development plan for our FRAM products, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiries and/or questions through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Comparing with Other Memories

SRAM

Question We're looking for pseudo SRAM or alternative solution. Is parallel FRAM replaceable with low power SRAM?

Answer Yes. Since FRAM products with parallel interface have SRAM compatible interface, we can suggest the FRAM solutions to replace with low power SRAM for the customers who would like to remove a battery for data retention. Please note that some FRAM products with parallel interface are not full-compatible to standard low power SRAM.
Please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiries and/or technical questions through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

EEPROM, Flash memory

Question Is FRAM price higher than EEPROM's?

Answer Regarding pricing, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiry on pricing through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question Is FRAM replaceable with EEPROM?

Answer Yes. Since FRAM product with serial interface, I2C and SPI, in 8-pin SOP package is compatible with standard EEPROM in 8-pin SOP, FRAM can be replaceable with EEPROM used in those applications or systems without any design change of routing and foot-print on PCB board.
If you have any interests in use of FRAM for your applications, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiries and/or technical questions through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question Is FRAM replaceable with NAND Flash memory?

Answer Yes, it depends on case. Since FRAM products with 1 trillion read/write cycle endurance don't need the ware leveling for much frequent write operation, there are cases that some applications using NAND Flash memory with ware levelling can replace with 1Mbit or 2Mbit FRAM products.
If you have any interests in use of FRAM for your applications, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiries and/or technical questions through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question How fast can FRAM execute write operation?

Answer Write times of non-volatile memories are spcified in the specs as FRAM = 150ns, EEPROM = 10ms, Flash memory = 10us, thus FRAM is 7,0000 times faster than EEPROM for write operation. EEPROM and Flash memory need the byte- or sector- erase operation before write operation, and it results longer write time. FRAM enables the overwrite in the memory cells without erase operation, therefore, it has faster write feature despite of non-volatile memory.

Question What is the serial memory? What is the differences between I2C interface and SPI interface?

Answer Fujitsu Semiconductor defines the FRAM products with serial bus interface(I2C and SPI) as "serial memories" in our FRAM family.
Serial bus is a communication method to operate continuous data input and output by one bit, while parallel bus is another communication method to operate data input and output by multi-bit like 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit at the same time.
I2C interface of serial bus is an interface to control data input/output using two signal lines of "SCL" for clock control and "SDA" for address and data control. SPI interface is that to control its operation using four signal lines of "SCK" for clock, "SI" for address and data input, "SO" for data output, and "CS" for chip select.
Since the serial bus can reduce the number of routing lines on PCB compared to parallel bus, the PCB board area of end-products can be reduced. Therefore, the design cost of serial bus can be less than that of parallel bus.

Other memories

Question What is the difference between FRAM and new generation memories such as ReRAM, PCRAM, MRAM, and nvSRAM?

Answer ReRAM, PCRAM, and MRAM have been developed alternative to DRAM and they have large-density products, while FRAM products have medium- and low-density products lineup. Therefore, target product density range is different between FRAM and other new generation memories.
nvSRAM has been provided in the same density range as FRAM, but nvSRAM may have disadvantage that it requires additional external capacitor to keep the data during write operation in case of power failure.

FRAM Characteristics, Specs, Supports

Read/Write Cycles

Question Fujitsu mentions 10 trillion times of read/write cycles guaranteed. The guaranteed value is applied to every bytes on chip, or a whole chip?

Answer Endurance is ten trillion by one byte, not by a whole chip. Thus, assuming a customer performs read or write operations to different addresses, read or write operations of ten trillion to the independent addresses in each are guaranteed.

Question If only read operation is performed, can FRAM guarantee the read cycles of unlimited?

Answer No, it's not unlimited. FRAM can guarantee minimum read/write endurance times (= read/write cycles guaranteed) in total of read times and write times.

Question Why is the read operation of FRAM counted as one of guaranteed read/write cycles?

Answer After read operation, FRAM automatically write back the data read-out in the same cells again. Therefore, read operation is counted as one read/write cycle.

Data Retention

Question Other non-volatile memory suppliers mention the long-term data retention period such as 35 years or more. Can Fujitsu guarantee longer data retention period more than 10 years?

Answer Yes. Fujitsu Semiconductor can guarantee that under some conditions. Data retention period is affected by the environmental temperature in which the end-products is used. Our spec of data guaranteed for 10 years is the value of that a customer uses our FRAM product at fixed 85℃ condition. If a customer uses FRAM product in the end-product at lower temperature than 85℃, such as 25℃ or 60℃, Fujitsu can guarantee longer data retention period more than 10 years on theoretically calculated. Some FRAM products describe extended data retention period on datasheets respectively.
If you have further question, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide through "Global Contacts", or request us your inquiry through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form."

Others

Question Are FRAM devices affected by magnetic fields?

Answer No. The prefix "ferro" of the term "ferroelectric", which has the meaning of "iron", often misleads people to the misunderstanding that FRAM are strongly affected by external magnetic field. In fact "Ferroelectricity" was historically coined in the analogy to ferromagnetism due to the phenomenon of hysteresis, which is similar for both materials. Nevertheless, Ferroelectricity does not contain ferromagnetic materials and has nothing to do with magnetism. While memory devices using ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic elements, such as Fe, Co, Ni, Cr, etc., their related materials and/or compounds, are strongly affected by external magnetic field, Ferroelectric RAM devices are basically not affected by magnetic field because they do not use ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic elements.

Question Can I get any IBIS simulation models of FRAM?

Answer Regarding the request of IBIS simulation models, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiry through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question Is any special memory controller needed to use FRAM? Should I use Fujitsu's MCU when FRAM is used in our application?

Answer No. You can use standard memory controllers and MCU, not limited to use Fujitsu's controller and MCU. FRAM can be used for your system as standard memory.

Question Can Fujitsu tell us any concrete values showing the feature of "low power consumption"?

Answer For example, comparing power consumption of EEPROM and FRAM (conditions of 2Mbit, SPI interface, 2Kbyte data write, 1sec, and 5MHz frequency), EEPROM consumes 5.80mJ and FRAM consumes 0.46mJ. Therefore, FRAM has one- thirteenth power consumption and 92% less power.

Question Does not FRAM viorate the directive RoHS because it mentions FRAM contains the lead (Pb) in the crystal structure?

Answer No. FRAM doesn't viorate the directive RoHS. Since the lead (Pb) content in FRAM products is less than 1,000ppm, FRAM conforms to the RoHS.

Question Is package type of FRAM only SOP type? Is there any plan to have other package type?

Answer In serial interface FRAM family, most of all products have SOP package form. In addition, in order to meet request of small and thin package form for wearable device applications, Fujitsu Semiconductor offers very small package of 3 x 2 mm such as WL-CSP and SON.
In parallel interface FRAM family, all products are in TSOP package. In addition, 256Kbit FRAM has SOP package.
Regarding the request of package form, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide through "Global Contacts", or please give us your inquiry through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

Question Can Fujitsu ship FRAM products in die or wafer form?

Answer Regarding the request of shipping form, please contact Fujitsu Electronics' sales offices in worldwide, or please give us your inquiry through the "FRAM Sample/Document Requests & Inquiry Form" on our website.

FRAM Sample/Document Request & Inquiry Form

Sample/Document Request
For requests of evaluation samples, and/or
documents such as datasheets, brochure

Inquiry
For general questions, such as technical
inquiry, sample availability, pricing