New low power memory compiler for power-critical applications

16-04-2024 | SureCore | Industrial

The mature FinFET nodes are fast becoming an interesting option for companies focused on low power applications like wearables, IoT and medical. With an appealing combination of performance, density and yield, these nodes can supply some compelling trade-offs, particularly cutting operating voltages to deliver substantial power savings while still delivering the requisite performance metrics. With 16nm now having been in production for over ten years, not only have the foundries ironed out manufacturing issues, but the tooling is now also largely depreciated, meaning that a technology that was once the heralded solution for the demands of the HPC and mobile sectors has now become cost competitive for developers of power-sensitive devices.

SoC developers with low-power solutions implemented in 28nm or 22nm bulk or FDSOI nodes are now facing traditional commercial pressures to cut ASPs, deliver improved feature sets, and power envelopes. However, as outlined above, these FinFET nodes were engineered to provide performance first and foremost; hence, much of the IP available for these nodes is similarly optimised.

However, sureCore, the low-power embedded memory specialist, has announced the availability of its PowerMiser, an ultra-low, dynamic power memory compiler in 16nm. This will allow developers to hit their challenging power budgets more easily and successfully exploit the capabilities of these mature FinFET processes.

Paul Wells, sureCore’s CEO, explained, “FinFET was developed to address the increasingly poor leakage characteristics of bulk nodes. In addition, the key driver for the mobile sector was ever greater performance to deliver new features and a better user experience. The power consumption was not deemed a significant issue, as both the radio and the display were the dominant factors in battery life determination. This, in addition to the relatively large form factor of a mobile phone, meant that the batteries had capacities in excess of 3-4000mAh. However, designers of power sensitive applications such as wearables and medical devices with much more constrained form factors and hence smaller batteries need a range of power optimised IP that can exploit the power advantages of FinFET whilst being much less concerned about performance. This has meant a demand for memory solutions that are specifically tailored to deliver much reduced power consumption. By providing the PowerMiser SRAM IP, sureCore is enabling the shift to mature FinFET processes for low-power applications and is thus helping to provide clear differentiation for such products based on both cost and battery life. By doing so, the all-important competitive advantage over rivals may be realised.”


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.