Ramtron's FRAM Memory Powers Electronic Utility Meter Transponders

11/19/2003 - Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq:RMTR), the leading developer of nonvolatile FRAM memory products, announced that Distribution Control Systems, Inc. (DCSI), a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE: NYSE), has selected the company’s ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) for use in its residential and commercial meter transponders for end customers in North America. DCSI has chosen Ramtron’s FM24C04, FM24C16 and FM24CL16 for their fast-write capability, small footprint and cost-effectiveness. In the application, FRAM stores transaction logs and other nonvolatile data, writing virtually non-stop and preserving its data state even through power loss – a feature inherent in all FRAM products. DCSI has manufactured and marketed its highly successful and field-proven Two-Way Automatic Communication System (TWACS) power line communication technology since 1978.

“The fast-write and high reliability of FRAM directly support DCSI's mission of providing unfailing communication and control solutions to multiple utilities,” said Lee Williams, senior engineering manager for DCSI. “FRAM offers us an excellent combination of high-performance features that enable us to provide quick remote retrieval of all necessary electrical measurements.”

“This marks our first announced metering win in North America, following wins in Europe and Asia,” said Mike Alwais, Ramtron vice president of FRAM Products. “Our design win with DCSI illustrates the growing trend of FRAM’s unique ability to serve the electronic metering industry worldwide.”

The FM24C04 is currently designed into the Altimus and Centron DCSI residential control systems. The FM24CL16 is designed into a wireless add-on board and a FM24C16 in the CMT/SY, a commercial meter. The FM24C04 is a fully compatible partner to meter feature sets such as: Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), Load Control, Demand Response, Interval Data, TOU/Real-Time Pricing, Line-Voltage Monitoring, Outage Management/Restoration Monitoring, Remote Service Connect/Disconnect, and Tamper/Theft Detection using open architecture interfaces.

All FRAM products are designed for applications requiring frequent or rapid writes and data protection in the event of power loss. Other end applications for FRAM include computing, automotive, consumer products, communications, industrial, scientific, and medical.

About FM24C04, FM24C16 and FM24CL16
Ramtron's FM24 family offers single-byte writes that are 280 times faster than those of EEPROM. In addition, it offers no timing delays and can be written at standard bus speeds versus EEPROM, which requires a 10-millisecond write delay before new data can be registered. The 3-volt device features an unlimited number of write cycles, compared to 1 million write cycles for EEPROM, and has an extremely low standby and operating current, which is over 50 times faster than competing parts. For more information, please visit Ramtron’s product homepage at http://www.ramtron.com/products/producthome.htm.

About DCSI
DCSI, a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc., is located in St. Louis, Missouri. DCSI has manufactured and marketed the highly successful and field-proven TWACS two-way power line communication technology for over 20 years. TWACS cost-effectively provides unique capabilities ideally suited for AMR, Load Control, Interval Data, TOU/Real-Time Pricing, Line-Voltage Monitoring, Outage/Restoration Data, Remote Disconnect/Connect, and Tamper/Theft Detection using open architecture interfaces. There are over 6 million devices installed or under contract. Customers include ATCO Electric, Florida Power & Light Co., PPL Electric Utilities, Puerto Rico Public Power Authority, Wisconsin Public Service Co., and over 100 electric cooperatives. For more information, visit www.twacs.com.

About Ramtron
Ramtron is the world leader in ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) products – new high-performance nonvolatile memories that merge the benefits of many mainstream memory technologies into a single device. For more information about Ramtron and its products, contact: Communications Department, Ramtron International Corporation, 1850 Ramtron Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, 80921. Telephone is 800-545-FRAM (3726); FAX is 719-481-9294; E-mail address is info@ramtron.com. Homepage is http://www.ramtron.com.

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