40nm SRAM beats low voltage operation in silicon

1st June 2016
Jordan Mulcare

sureCore has revealed that its latest Ultra-Low Voltage SRAM IP effectively operates at a record-setting 0.6V across process, voltage and temperature. The results are silicon-proven on TSMC's 40nm Ultra Low Power CMOS process technology. 

sureCore's latest IP delivers an impressive operating voltage range from 0.6V to 1.21V.  It provides an unprecedented 20MHz cycle time at 0.6V scaling to over 300MHz at 1.21V. This performance opens new capabilities for cutting edge wearable and Internet of Things applications.

Test chip results revealed an up to 80% savings in dynamic power consumption and an up to 75% reduction in static power.

"Standard SRAM is not reliable below 0.9V, but sureCore's single supply rail, Ultra-Low Voltage SRAM allows operating voltage to scale in tandem with the logic. For the first time, devices in 'Keep Alive' mode can deliver useful processing power at unprecedented low power levels.  Our huge reduction in power consumption will enable devices to keep going and going - just like the famous bunny!" said sureCore's Executive Chairman, Guillaume d'Eyssautier. 

Key to the break-through is sureCore's "smart-Assist" technology that allows robust operation down to the retention voltage.  Further architectural improvements include subdividing the memory into up to eight banks which, in conjunction with enhanced sleep modes, provide greater system level flexibility.  As well as operating in peripheral power off, light and deep sleep modes, each bank can also be independently controlled for active or in light sleep, deep sleep or power off modes.

Capacities range from 8Kbits to 576Kbits with support for both DFT and BIST (Design-for-Test and Built-in-Self-Test).

"Low power design is placing new demands on SoC developers and, compared to the restrictions imposed by standard memory, our Ultra-Low Voltage SRAM enables a new dimension in low power capability," said Paul Wells, CEO, sureCore.

sureCore's Ultra-Low Voltage SRAM enables computing at formerly unattainable power levels. By implementing this memory in TSMC 40ULP, the leading low leakage process technology, sureCore has delivered an industry-beating step-change in power performance.

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