Near-Threshold Computing

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a lot of attention to the need for extremely low-power design, and this in turn has increased the pressure for voltage reduction. In the past, each new process node shrunk the feature size and lowered the nominal operating voltage. This resulted in a drop in power consumption. However, the situation changed at about 90nm in two ways. ... » read more

Moore Memory Problems

The six-transistor static memory cell (SRAM) has been the mainstay of on-chip memory for several decades and has stood the test of time. Today, many advanced SoCs have 50% of the chip area covered with these memories and so they are critical to continued scaling. “The SRAM being used in modern systems is similar to the SRAM they were using in the 1970s and 1980s,” says Duncan Bremner, ch... » read more

sureCore: ULP SRAM

Ultra-low-power technologies are suddenly very much in vogue. While three years ago it was almost impossible to raise venture funding in this space, it has become far easier in the past year as power becomes both a stumbling block and a competitive differentiator in the Internet of Things world. This is particularly true for wearable electronics such as multi-function watches. The ability to... » read more

Scaling The Lowly SRAM

By Mark LaPedus Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges at the 20nm logic node and beyond, including the task of cramming more functions on the same chip without compromising on power and performance. There is one major challenge that is often overlooked in the equation—scaling the lowly static RAM (SRAM). In one key application, SRAM is the component used to make on-chip cache memories... » read more