Low power memory compiler for 16nm FinFET designs

Low power memory compiler for 16nm FinFET designs

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

SureCore in the UK has ported its low power SRAM memory compiler for 16nm FinFET process technologies.

The 16nm FinFET port of the SureCore PowerMiser memory compiler will enable developers to more easily hit challenging power and cost budgets for wearable and portable chip designs.

The mature FinFET nodes are rapidly becoming an interesting option for companies focused on low power applications such as wearables, IoT and medical. The 16nm process node has an attractive combination of performance, density and yield, with lower operating voltages to deliver substantial power savings whilst still delivering the required performance. The process has been in production for over ten years, so the tooling is now also largely depreciated meaning that a technology has become highly cost competitive for developers of power sensitive devices.

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“FinFET was developed to address the increasingly poor leakage characteristics of bulk nodes and power consumption was not deemed a significant issue, as both the radio and the display were the dominant factors in battery life,” said Paul Wells, sureCore CEO.

“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.

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“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,” he said.



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