F-RAM replaces EEPROM for faster writes at lower power in safe, explosion-proof product

19th May 2008
ES Admin
Ramtron International has announced that China’s Shanghai Welltech Automation Co., Ltd., a leading pressure transmitter and magnetic flow meter supplier, has designed Ramtron’s FM25L16 16-kilobit (Kb) serial F-RAM memory device into its 2000S safe pressure transmitters. F-RAM was selected to replace EEPROM in Welltech’s new, intrinsically safe, explosion-proof transmitters.
Intelligent pressure transmitters have become increasingly popular because of the complexity of today’s process control applications in industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, power, water treatment, food processing, etc. The 2000S offers advanced features such as two-way communication, remote calibration, and self-diagnostics. These features enable higher accuracy, greater reliability, and more advanced communication protocols, which reduce the time, effort and expenses associated with start-up and maintenance.

The 2000S combines sensing technology and intelligent electronics in a single package. Nonvolatile F-RAM memory – with its fast writes, high endurance, and low power – is an integral element in this advanced design. In the 2000S, F-RAM stores configurable parameters such as transmitter ranges, signal types, fluid properties, etc., and retains this data when power is removed so that the transmitter is ready for immediate use when power is restored.

F-RAM also saves calibration/compensation data for the 2000S’s automatic self-calibration routines, and performs event and data logging, which the system uses to diagnose whether maintenance is required. “We have replaced EEPROM with F-RAM in our smart and safe 2000S pressure transmitters to extend write speed and endurance, and to improve overall safety against potential explosions,” explain Welltech R&D Engineers. “We used EEPROM in our first 2000S designs, but it failed in power consumption tests since the 2000S has a total operating current of less than 3.6mA. F-RAM’s low power consumption enables intrinsic safety, while its fast writes reduce variability and microprocessor (MPU) overhead in our new smart pressure transmitters.”

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