Leading chip manufacturers Fujitsu and STMicroelectronics announced co-development of a new contactless chip based on Ferroelectric Random Access Memory or FRAM. While other companies utilize FRAM for contactless applications, this will be the first mass market FRAM product to comply with one of the international contactless standards.
The new ST 19ZR01 chip will meet ISO 14443 Type B standards and be available by the end of 2002. According to STMicro’s Director of US Media Relations, Michael Markowitz, “FRAM provides benefits over the more common EEPROM-based contactless chips in both power consumption and speed.” Both of these qualities are particularly essential in contactless environments as the card’s power is drawn from the reader’s field and rapid throughput of cardholders is often crucial to a project’s success.
The costs for the product were not available, but says Mr. Markowitz, “costs will be higher for the FRAM product in large part because of EEPROM’s huge volume advantage. We’re anticipating comparable pricing once volumes reach comparable levels.”