“Our design win success with Hyundai Autonet for smart airbags is evidence of FRAM’s growing acceptance among top automotive system suppliers,” said Ramtron CEO Bill Staunton. “FRAM possesses key features for smart airbag systems that competitive memory technologies cannot easily provide. We expect smart airbag usage to continue to grow as the technology makes its way into an increasing number of car models. Airbags are just one of many places in automobiles that can leverage FRAM benefits,” Staunton added.
To date, Ramtron FRAM products have been designed into smart airbag systems for eight different car manufacturers across the United States, Asia, Japan and Europe. The company anticipates volume FRAM memory shipments into smart airbag systems to exceed two-million units by the end of 2006. Ramtron’s 16Kbit FM25C160 is a popular choice among airbag users due its 5-volt operating power and SPI interface.
Today’s smart airbags are designed to increase or decrease deployment force based on accident event parameters such as the severity of the crash, the weight of the occupant, and the interaction with other safety systems within the car. The parametric data that is sent to the car’s electronic control unit (ECU) is generated by sensors throughout the interior. In newer safety systems, sensors built into the seats send data to the ECU so the airbag can deploy “intelligently”. As more and more sensors are added to cars, more data needs to be collected. FRAM allows automotive manufacturers to collect more data at higher frequencies enabling the car’s systems to store and act on the timeliest information available.