Ferroelectric random access memory (RAM), also called as FRAM, is a random access memory that combines the features of dynamic RAM (DRAM) with read-only memory (ROM) and flash memory. FRAM offers fast read and write access along with the ability to retain data even after the power supply is turned off. As against DRAM, FRAM uses a ferroelectric layer for its fabrication instead of a dielectric layer. Although the construction of FRAM is similar to that of DRAM, unlike DRAM, FRAM is non-volatile in nature. Thus, FRAM provides functionality similar to conventional flash memories. FRAM offers various advantages over DRAM, static RAM (SRAM) and other non-volatile memories. Some of the advantages include lower power requirement, faster read and write operations and high number of write and erase cycles. The FRAM requires power only when writing or reading a cell and requires no power during its idle state. Moreover, unlike the flash memories, FRAM does not require refresh process and are capable of completing a write process in much less time cycle. Since FRAM are faster than flash memories, these are expected to replace other technologies such as electrically erasable and programmable read only memory (EEPROM) and SRAM in wireless applications.
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Global Ferroelectric RAM Market: Drivers and Restraints
The major driving factor for the ferroelectric RAM market is its advantages over other conventional memory technologies. Moreover, due to increasing developments in the electronic handheld devices, FRAM is expected to witness healthy demand in near future. Rising demand for fast memory operations in security systems and smart card applications is another factor contributing to the demand for ferroelectric RAM. Furthermore, ferroelectric RAM is an emerging technology and is expected to have huge potential owing to its advantages over conventional memories. Thus, vendors in the ferroelectric RAM market are increasingly investing in research and development (R&D) of ferroelectric RAM. This is expected to boost the FRAM market growth significantly in near future. Also, due to its fast operations, FRAM is likely to be used widely in data storage applications and other applications such as wireless sensors deployment. However, low density of FRAM as compared to the conventional volatile as well as non-volatile memories is a significant aspect that may hamper the growth of the ferroelectric RAM market. The storage capacity of ferroelectric RAM is much lower as against that of conventional memory. Thus, these memories are majorly used where speed of operation is more important than the data storage requirement.
Global Ferroelectric RAM Market: Segmentation and Regional Dynamics
Ferroelectric RAM market can be segmented based on the applications, device types and geographic regions. FRAMs are used in security systems, energy meters, smart card applications, access control applications, sensor networks and others. FRAM is widely used in wireless applications and wireless sensors applications due to their high power efficiency. FRAM are used in various devices such as computer desktops, laptops, mobile devices, meters, personal digital assistant (PDA) and other handheld devices. On the basis of geography, the ferroelectric RAM market is segmented as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW).
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Some of the key players in the ferroelectric RAM market are Cypress Semiconductor Corporations, Texas Instruments Inc., International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Infineon Technologies Inc., LAPIS Semiconductor Co. Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. Fujitsu Ltd. was the first semiconductor manufacturer to build embedded ferroelectric RAM.
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