IP holds down power in always-on logic, in TSMC 55 ULP / ULP-eF process

IP holds down power in always-on logic, in TSMC 55 ULP / ULP-eF process

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By eeNews Europe

Using this approach, the standard cell validation and characterisation flow is tuned for both accuracy and reliability. The extremely low-voltage SESAME eLV library uses this design methodology and employs a patented flip-flop to achieve minimal power consumption.

SESAME eLV is designed to operate down to the minimum data retention voltage (0.55 V at TSMC 55nm uLPeFlash) allowing the designer to share the same supply voltage for always-on logic and retention RAM, if any. The advantage is to avoid a dedicated regulator for always-on logic, saving both area and power.

Operating at such a low voltage allows very significant power savings: power consumption can be divided by more than a factor of two when supplying the always-on logic at 0.55V compared to 1.2V.

However, Dolphin adds, ultra-low voltage operation also comes with a trade-off on maximum operating frequency. Therefore, the SESAME eLV library is available in different configurations (6 & 9 tracks, SVT & HVT, different PVT corners) in order to cover a wide range of needs. For TSMC 55 nm uLPeFlash, standard deliverables include characterisation at 0.55V for designs operating at a few tens of kHz – typically, an RTC at 32 kHz – and at 0.75 V for operation at a few MHz – typically, a wake-up trigger based on Voice Activity Detection (VAD).

Sesame eLV features



Dual/Low voltage

Dynamic and leakage power reduction

From 1.2 V +/-10%

To 0.55 V +/-10%

Multiple VTs

Best trade-off

between Speed & Leakage



Characterization corners

Custom PVT support to reach the best speed vs. power compromise in the range [0.55V-1.2V]

Dolphin Integration provides a complete set of complementary products to build an ultra low-power always-on block:

  • qLR Della Aon – Dual Output: an optimised cap-less LDO with dual output that enables supplying both standard IO cells and the ultra low-power always-on block.

  • Ultra low-power RC and crystal oscillators

  • qCMPH comparator, a low-power voltage trigger

  • Whisper Trigger, a low-power Voice Activity Detection (VAD) trigger

Dolphin Integration;

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