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Ramtron Introduces the First FRAM-Enhanced 8051 MCU; Groundbreaking Nonvolatile Data Storage/Processing System.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq:RMTR), a leading developer and supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) and integrated semiconductor products, today launched the VRS51L3074, the market's first 8051-based microcontroller with nonvolatile FRAM memory. Ramtron has added FRAM into its fast and flexible Versa 8051s for a quick and reliable nonvolatile 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. "This is the first in a series of planned products leading to a microcontroller based entirely on FRAM, where FRAM will be used for program, data and register memory, eliminating the need for Flash and SRAM altogether."

FRAM instead of Flash/EEPROM for nonvolatile data storage

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.

The VRS51L3074 combines 8KB of FRAM memory with a fully-integrated, high-performance system-on-chip. Features include an advanced 40-MIPS, single-cycle 8051-core, 64KB Flash with In-System/In-Application Programming, 4KB SRAM, a JTAG program/debug interface, digital signal processing (DSP) extensions and a robust digital peripheral set. Operating at 3.3 volts over the entire industrial temperature range, the VRS51L3074 offers the ideal embedded data acquisition solution, targeting a wide array of applications from sensors and metering to industrial control, instrumentation and medical devices.

VRS51L3074 Features

8K x 8 FRAM: 8KB of true nonvolatile RAM (no battery/super cap required to maintain data) mapped into the VRS51L3074's XRAM memory for easy access, fast writes and essentially unlimited endurance.

40MHz, Single-Cycle 8051 Processor: This is one of the fastest 8-bit processors on the market. Its advanced core can deliver up to 40 MIPS throughput and is instruction-compatible with standard 8051s, for smooth device migration.

MULT/ACCU/DIV Unit with 32-bit Barrel Shifter: This hardware calculation engine significantly outperforms 8-bit processors when executing DSP operations (FIR filtering, sensor output linearization, multiple-byte arithmetic operations, etc). It performs 16-bit signed multiplication and 32-bit addition in one cycle (at 40 MHz) and 16-bit signed division in five cycles (at 40 MHz). The barrel shifter enables logic/arithmetic shift operations.

40MHz Precision Internal Oscillator: The VRS51L3074's internal oscillator provides better than 2% accuracy and cuts system costs by eliminating the need for an external crystal oscillator.

JTAG Interface: For user-friendly and quick device programming and real-time, in-circuit debugging/emulation of the user application without the need for a costly emulator.

Dual UARTs with Baud Rate Generator: The universal asynchronous receiver/transmitters operate at up to 1.25 Mbps. Each UART incorporates a dedicated baud rate generator with 16-bit resolution and 4-bit micro baud rate adjustment.

Enhanced SPI: The communication speed on the serial peripheral interface can be configured up to 20 Mbps and transactions are adjustable from 1 to 32 bits.

PWCs: Two pulse width counter modules provide advanced timer control, simplifying event duration measurement.

PWMs: The VRS51L3074 incorporates eight pulse width modulators with up to 16-bit adjustable resolution. Each PWM includes its own timer, which can also be used as general purpose timers.

Other support peripherals include an I2C interface, three 16-bit 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.

Pricing and Availability

The VRS51L3074 is currently sampling and costs under $5 in volume.

For more information about the VRS51L3074, please visit

About Ramtron

Ramtron International Corporation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialized semiconductor memory, microcontroller and integrated semiconductor solutions used in a wide range of product applications and markets worldwide. Additionally, Ramtron works with various leading-edge licensees and manufacturers to bring its technology to market.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements herein that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" involving risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: the effect of global economic conditions, shifts in supply and demand, market acceptance, the impact of competitive products and pricing, product development, commercialization and technological difficulties, and capacity and supply constraints. Specific forward-looking statements include those pertaining to future MCU product plans and their ability to alter the microcontroller landscape. Please refer to Ramtron's Securities and Exchange Commission filings for a discussion of such risks.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 22, 2006
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