sureCore: ULP SRAM

Startup focuses on developing suite of embedded SRAM technologies based on FD-SOI and CMOS.

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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 go more than a day between charges is essential, but that means virtually every component inside these devices needs to be re-engineered from the ground up.

The latest company to come out of stealth mode in this area is sureCore, a maker of ultra-low-power SRAMs. The company, which was started by CEO Paul Wells in 2011 in Sheffield, England, announced that it has received $1.6 million in Series A funding from Belgium’s Capital-E.

Guillaume d’Eyssautier, the startup’s executive chairman, said the initial versions of the technology were based on foundry bit cells using 40nm bulk CMOS. But with 28nm FD-SOI using the company’s own bit cells, he said there is a 70% savings in power in read/write, a 30% reduction in leakage. He noted the savings are about the same at 40nm, as well, using sureCore’s bit cells. With finFETs, the saving are estimated at about 50% to 60%.

D’Eyssautier noted the key to the technology is improved efficiency in read/write circuitry and pre-amplification before the write cycle. At 28nm and below, that allows for low swings and lower voltage. The company also claims the technology is virtually immune to process variation and single event upsets.

The company is aiming its technology first at the mobile and IoT markets, which will be followed by pushes into networking and gaming.

Members of the startup team include CEO Paul Wells, formerly of Pace Networks, and CTO Duncan Bremner, formerly of National Semiconductor.