4Layer Product Line Update

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Registered just to discuss this as I was looking to place an order for two ForeverPaks now that they're in stock...
I understand the reasons for switching from MRAM to FRAM and I understand the needed increased sale price.

What I'm worried about is that that everything I look up about FRAM vs MRAM is that FRAM can lose data over time since it uses an electric charge which will slowly leak away with estimates around 10 years vs the magnetic storage of MRAM which has a potential storage life of around 20 years. Also, FRAM has a limited lifecycle in that reads are destructive and the chip will wear out over time where MRAR has a reported "infinite" read/write lifecycle with no wear. Beyond that MRAM is about twice as fast for read/writes over FRAM (of course this shouldn't matter much for N64 I would suspect).

So that all said, this feels like the "Forever" isn't nearly as forever as previous versions with MRAM and the fact that this information wasn't included in the announcement does put a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

Do you think you'll go back to MRAM at some point or simply offer both versions down the road? From a consumer perspective I hesitate to purchase a higher cost product that is now objectively worse when compared to the previous iteration.

Finally, has there been any thoughts on adding an SD card slot to enable save data transfers to and from a ForeverPak or a USB connection to allow backup/restore of data via PC directly?

Thank you, I welcome thoughts and corrections on this if I'm in the wrong.


New ForeverPak 64 revision

Summary:
-New ForeverPak 64 revision
-Functionally identical, same compatibility.
-Only changing a part due to part shortage
-Uses FRAM instead of MRAM
-FRAM is more expensive, and other costs have increased. Price will increase by $5.
-Backorder and grandfather pricing ends when we receive and stock boards

Full Story:
Up until very shortly before launch, ForeverPak 64 was planned to be built around FRAM chips. But shortly before launching, we discovered MRAM chips. They met our specifications, were slightly less expensive, and easier to source reliably (and avoid counterfeits). Our FRAM prototypes also had some incompatibilities, and our MRAM had none of the issues. So that means MRAM good, FRAM bad right? That's what we thought, and what we went with in our initial marketing, highlighting the compatibility advantage. Turns out we were wrong. The N64 DEV community was quick to call this out, and through their help, we were able to trace the root of our compatibility issue to a design flaw in our prototype. With a slight adjustment to our prototype, the FRAM was fully compatible with the N64's library. We quickly updated our marketing to remove all references to MRAM, FRAM, and compatibility differences, as their performance/compatibility was the same.

Fast forward to present day, and a new issue looms its head. The MRAM chip we use for ForeverPak is a victim of the chip shortage, with no restock in sight.
With MRAM off the table, we are switching back to FRAM chips, as we are able to reliably source them again. As discussed earlier, performance/compatibility of the end product will remain unaffected. The only downside is an increase in cost, when combined with how our other costs have increased, means we need to increase the price by $5 (from $29.99 to $34.99).

So what does this change mean to you as an end customer of the ForeverPak64? As far as we can tell, nothing. The product should perform exactly the same. But we feel transparency is important, and want to share details of product changes.


Thank you all for the support. We have several products in the works (including some new ForeverPak 64 colors) we are excited to share when they are closer to launch.
 
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Gman

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Registered just to discuss this as I was looking to place an order for two ForeverPaks now that they're in stock...
I understand the reasons for switching from MRAM to FRAM and I understand the needed increased sale price.

What I'm worried about is that that everything I look up about FRAM vs MRAM is that FRAM can lose data over time since it uses an electric charge which will slowly leak away with estimates around 10 years vs the magnetic storage of MRAM which has a potential storage life of around 20 years. Also, FRAM has a limited lifecycle in that reads are destructive and the chip will wear out over time where MRAR has a reported "infinite" read/write lifecycle with no wear. Beyond that MRAM is about twice as fast for read/writes over FRAM (of course this shouldn't matter much for N64 I would suspect).

So that all said, this feels like the "Forever" isn't nearly as forever as previous versions with MRAM and the fact that this information wasn't included in the announcement does put a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

Do you think you'll go back to MRAM at some point or simply offer both versions down the road? From a consumer perspective I hesitate to purchase a higher cost product that is now objectively worse when compared to the previous iteration.

I welcome thoughts and corrections on this if I'm in the wrong.
1663803156786.png

In the datasheet it shows how it would take 91.7 years of continuous transactions to reach the rated amount. For this application, they are both great technologies.
 
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View attachment 24753
In the datasheet it shows how it would take 91.7 years of continuous transactions to reach the rated amount. For this application, they are both great technologies.

Thank you, that's helpful for the longevity of the chip as I didn't run into that data on my looking...though I'd still be worried about having save data on the chip long term based on the charge leakage. I guess moral of the story is to ensure backups are made and stored properly.
 

Shank

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Hey all,

Today we have more information on the upcoming batch of PMS Lites. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to deliver them before the end of November like we hoped. Early on we sent some prototypes out to testers for feedback, and, long story short, they found some unexpected quirks in the new chips we were using. We were able to tweak the design to solve this issue on version 2 of the prototypes, but this led to a setback. We have always been adamant that we would rather take the time to iron out the issues in our products than ship out sub-optimal products early. As of writing, the board assembly is going into production.

The current chip supply constraints continue to make things difficult. We are doing our best, and are sorry for the delay. Any customers who placed preorders are able to get a refund at any time. For everyone else, hopefully things go smoothly and we can have these boards in your hands by the end of the year.
 

Shank

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Update: The parts have been sent to the PCB assembly company and are in production
 
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