Uncommon Nonvolatile Memory Powers 8051

The 8051 is a popular microcontroller core. In the “old” days we used external EPROMs. Modern versions have onboard EPROM or EEPROM (like flash).

Ramtron recently announced their new 8051 with onboard FRAM (8K worht). FRAM is a nonvolatile memory that is fast to write, byte-writeable, and has virtually unlimited read/write cycles. So you get the advantages of nonvolatile memory without the disadvantages of flash.

FRAM is a ferroelectric-based technology that does not require battery backup like SRAM. Of course, you can get FRAM to include with a traditional microprocessor, but this is the first microcontroller I know of that has FRAM right in the device.

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