Low-power cryogenic memory technology could dramatically cut data centre power usage

11-06-2024 | SureCore | Industrial

SureCore has developed technology that has allowed it to design memory solutions for quantum computing applications that can operate down to 4K. This technology is equally applicable to 77K operation. As server chips and AI processors combine large amounts of SRAM migrating to the company's low power cryogenic memory may help data centres run cooler by reducing SRAM power dissipation with the added benefit of greatly reducing the cooling load.

Paul Wells, sureCore's CEO explained, "As part of an InnovateUK funded project, we have worked closely with our partner Semiwise who have developed cryogenic transistor SPICE models. These have enabled us to port and tune our low power memory technology to work at temperatures down to 4K. The goal was not only to develop memory for cryogenic operation but also to exploit our power-saving techniques so as to minimise the thermal load in the cryostat. For a datacentre operating at 77K, similar challenges apply and, by saving up to 50% of the memory power, a significant cut in thermal dissipation is possible with knock-on effects for the cooling power budget."

Professor Asen Asenov, CEO of SemiWise, added, "The key to successfully enabling the AI revolution is the availability of access to accurate cryogenic transistor SPICE models. This will allow IP developers to create suites of IP so that SoC developers can create next-generation AI server chips. SemiWise has developed unique technology to engineer PDK-strength cryogenic SPICE models based on a limited suite of cryogenic measurements supplemented by TCAD simulations."

The company has exploited its state-of-the-art, ultra-low power memory design skills to create embedded SRAM, an essential building block for any digital sub-system, that is capable of operating from 77K (-196C) down to the near absolute zero temperatures needed by Quantum Computers (QCs). Also, standard cell and IO cell libraries have been re-characterised for operation at cryogenic temperatures thereby enabling an industry standard RTL to GDSII physical design flow to be readily adopted. The company's CryoMem range of IP is part of an Innovate UK project that it is leading with test chips soon to be evaluated at cryo temperatures.

Wells concluded, "We are very excited that a new application area has opened up for our ultra-low power memory technologies. Data centres have a heat problem and we can potentially provide a solution."


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.