The company is developing memory and floating-point arithmetic intellectual property but with an extra twist. As part of its approach Metis is developing methods and circuits to harvest on-chip transient data as an energy source with a focus on compute-in-memory, SRAM, register file and content-addressable memory arrays.
The Metis approach is innovative although it is notable that French research institute Leti has recently published a paper on a similar technique applied to non-volatile memory (see ReRAM could perform as battery, says Leti).
“Metis Microsystems develops advanced CMOS circuit IP for memory and logic components that harvest transient on-chip data to improve circuit performance and its energy efficiency,” the company states on its website. “In an era of unrelenting and ubiquitous compute demand constrained by limited energy provisions and heat removal efficiency, a sea of on-chip data in a Metis solution serves as a supporting power source enabling an unprecedented energy efficiency across a range of applications from energy-starved intelligence at the edge to networking and accelerator hardware in the data center. Transcending the physical limits on CMOS switching energy in a post-Dennard-scaling age unleashes CMOS circuits to scale performance even further,” it adds.
Metis Microsystems was founded in 2017 by Azeez Bhavnagarwala, who was previously a research engineer for Arm Ltd. Prior to that Bhavngarwala was a research engineer and scientist with AMD and IBM.
At Arm Bhavngarwala worked in a team that developed a six-transistor SRAM that could operate at 400mV and retain data at 200mV and implemented it in a 16nm FinFET CMOS process. At the low voltage Vdd the memory achieved a maximum clock frequency of 140MHz.
Related links and articles: