NeoLogic unveils processor design technology at 16nm

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The Israel-based processor technology start-up NeoLogic has launched a processor design technology that it believes could help to revolutionise chip design.

The company expects to tape-out an ARM processor at 16nm for demonstration this December when the technology and the processor will be available for evaluation to selected key customers.

NeoLogic's Quasi-CMOS technology serves as a platform for processor design and delivers high computing power in tandem with reduced power consumption and cost.

The company has completed the development of new, non-existing, standard cells for the 16nm technology node, on top of the existing CMOS standard cells library. NeoLogic’s standard cells are single-stage high fan-in (8 to 16 inputs), among others, leading to up to 50% reduction in power consumption compared to the most advanced equivalent CMOS cells while saving up to 40% of the area.

The technology was conceived to address the increasing workloads in data centres and the need to reduce the high costs associated with developing processors using advanced technology nodes. According to NeoLogic, designing processors with Quasi-CMOS delivers superior computing power per watt per millimetre square, catering to the escalating workloads of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analysis, video streaming, and more being seen in data centres.

CMOS technology, which has been the "workhorse" of processor design and fabrication for the past 40 years, is nearing its limits and is challenging to improve. Quasi-CMOS breaks through these limitations by significantly increasing the maximum number of inputs of standard cells and by changing their topology to reduce the number of transistors. This breakthrough benefits the logic synthesis as well as the physical design.

According to Dr. Avi Messica, Co-founder and CEO of NeoLogic, "Utilising Quasi-CMOS for processor development delivers a technological leap in performance. Our design technology enables us to design a 16nm processor that delivers performance equivalent to more advanced – sub 16nm - technology nodes, while saving development (NRE) and manufacturing (OPEX) costs. Reducing the processor’s power consumption in data centres leads to significant cost savings (cooling, electricity, infrastructure)."