Panasonic Launches New Microcomputers With ReRAM Storage

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2013 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: RRAM, Panasonic, memristor

RRAM (Resistive RAM) and "Memrisitor" non-volatile memory technology has been theorized about in the past, but it is finally starting to make its way into actual products. Specifically, Panasonic announced a new series of 8-bit MN101R microcomputers that feature RRAM memory for storage.

The Panasonic microcomputers are intended to be used in environmental sensors, healthcare monitors (blood pressure, activity, et al), fire alarms, and electronic passports. Panasonic expects to ship a million of these ReRAM-equipped boards a month. The company claims that the move from NAND flash to ReRAM results in up to a 50% power savings and increased memory durability supporting as much as 10-times higher re-write cycles. Additionally, the ReRAM is five times faster at writes than both NAND flash and EEPROM due in part to not having to perform a data erase during each write.

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Panasonic and Crossbar (a start-up working on RRAM) have some impressive figures to share, but enthusiasts should not get their hopes up just yet. The Panasonic microcomputers are using a scant 64KB of ReRAM paired with 4KB of SRAM. While a good first step, the technology still has a ways to go before we start to see it enter mobile devices and traditional PCs.

With that said, it does have a lot of potential, and I’m excited to finally see an actual physical product come out of all the resistive RAM research!

More information on the Panasonic MN101R series and the ReRAM technology can be found here.

Source: Panasonic

August 6, 2013 | 04:35 PM - Posted by fffrantz

It should be interesting to see if it trickles down to the PC market in a few years time since the technology in itself is pretty impressive.
But the current RAM manufacturing costs are so low, it'll probably be hard to beat.

August 6, 2013 | 07:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The low cost of ram in the pc market doesn't really mean anything in relation to the adoption of this technology because currently ram is volatile. Nonvolatile ram will have completely different use cases to the ram we have currently - E.G. databases & advanced video work.

August 7, 2013 | 02:07 PM - Posted by fffrantz

Ah you caught me, I meant Flash, mea culpa.

August 6, 2013 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The only way that the cost of traditional ram would impact the adoption of nonvolatile ram in an organization would be if said organization is currently using ramdisk technology then flushing the data to secondary storage before every reboot / shutdown. Even if this were the case, I'd wager that being able to ditch the ramdisk software would be enough of a benefit for most orgs in this situation to consider adopting it.

August 6, 2013 | 11:48 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Is it a coincidence that two stories on the home page are both about companies making an announcement about resistive ram? One news item on resistive ram is rare enough. Maybe the stuff will get into enthusiast level hardware, such as ssd's, not too many years from now. I can only hope.

August 7, 2013 | 03:47 PM - Posted by Kevin (not verified)

Wow I remember this stuff being all the rage back in 2001 or so. Motorola was touting it, there was an article in Wired. Moving so fast it makes my head spin!!!!!

December 29, 2014 | 06:08 AM - Posted by riccardocavalio (not verified)

The Panasonic guys are brilliant. I know that before they could invent new creative innovations in the electronics field. Microcomputers with the ReRam storage are a great idea that can bring their business to a new height. This will give a breakthrough in microcomputers.

January 5, 2015 | 04:28 AM - Posted by Christina (not verified)

Yes, you are correct in many instances. Maybe a better wording would be "to simulate worst case, real world operation...

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