Ramtron International launched what is said to be the semiconductor industry's first nonvolatile state saver -- a device that saves the state of signals on demand and restores them to the correct state automatically upon power up. FRAM technology enables this capability owing to its fast write time and virtually unlimited write endurance. The company's family of low-power nonvolatile state savers includes the FM1105, which operates at 5V, and the FM1106 which operates at 3V. The device operates like conventional logic, but stores and retains the logic state in the absence of power. The state savers provide continuous access to nonvolatile system settings without reading a memory or consuming dedicated processor I/O pins. They enable storage of signals that may change frequently and without notice, and they allow the nonvolatile storage of system settings without the system overhead and extra pins of a serial memory. The FM1105 operates from 4.5V to 5.5V at a low operating current of less than 15 µA, while changing state continuously at 1 kHz. The FM1106 operates from 2.7V to 3.6V and offers a low operating current of less than 5 µA, while changing state continuously at 1 kHz. Both devices offer an unlimited number of state changes, can run up to 1 MHz and operate over the industrial temperature range (-40°C to 85°C). Ramtron International.
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