Startup tapes out MRAM-based MCU

January 04, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Semiconductor IP startup eVaderis SA (Grenoble, France), has completed the tape out of an MRAM-based microcontroller demonstration IC for next-generation IoT applications.

The design is being done in cooperation with Beyond Semiconductor doo (Ljubljana, Slovenia) and the MCU will comply with Beyond's BA2X instruction set architecture and eVaderis will license the MCU out for MRAM-based optimized subsystems.

The design includes perpendicular spin-transfer-torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM) technology from international R&D institute IMEC. The software, system and memory IP developed by eVaderis make Beyond Semiconductor's MCU suitable for battery-powered applications in IoT and wearable electronics. eVaderis claims the BA2X is already a lean and power efficient MCU and the use of non-volatile MRAM as the memory allows for even lower power consumption.

Three megabits of on-chip memory are distributed across the system though different instances, covering different functions such as working memory, configuration, state retention, code execution and data storage. eVaderis’ memory IP architectures are built to be compiler-friendly, helping chip makers to achieve faster time to market.

eVaderis’ innovative memory-centric architecture based on embedded MRAM technology allows an MCU to achieve power, performance and functional gains at the system and software levels. These gains include for instance energy-efficient, non-volatile check-pointing or normally-off/instant-on operation with near zero latency boot.

The MCU is designed to be manufactured using Globalfoundries' 40nm CMOS.

"We now plan to license the underlying IP to semiconductor manufacturers making sub-40-nm chips," said Virgile Javerliac, deputy CEO at eVaderis, in a statement.

"Power consumption is still the key challenge for any battery-powered device," said Matjaz Breskvar, Beyond Semiconductor's CEO, in the same statement. "We have been working with eVaderis since the company's inception to jointly realize a vision of battery-powered, always-on devices with unprecedented energy efficiencies."

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