sureCore announces low power memory compiler for 16nm FinFET

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 sureCore, the low power embedded memory specialist, has announced the availability of its PowerMiser, ultra-low, dynamic power memory compiler in 16nm.

Credit: sureCore

Mature FinFET nodes are rapidly becoming an interesting option for companies focused on low power applications like wearables, IoT and medical.

They are able to offer a combination of performance, density and yield, and can deliver some very compelling trade-offs, in particular cutting operating voltages to deliver substantial power savings whilst still delivering the requisite performance metrics.

With 16nm now having been in production for over ten years, not only have the foundries ironed out manufacturing issues, but the tooling is now also largely depreciated meaning that a technology that was once the heralded solution for the demands of the HPC and mobile sectors has now become cost competitive for developers of power sensitive devices.

SoC developers with low power solutions implemented in 28 or 22nm bulk or FDSOI nodes are now facing traditional commercial pressures to cut ASPs and deliver improved feature sets and power envelopes. However, these FinFET nodes have been engineered to deliver performance first and foremost hence much of the IP that is available for these nodes is similarly optimised.

According to sureCore, PowerMiser SRAM IP will enable developers to more easily hit challenging power budgets and successfully exploit the capabilities of more mature FinFET processes.

Commenting Paul Wells, sureCore’s CEO, explained, “FinFET was developed to address the increasingly poor leakage characteristics of bulk nodes. In addition, the key driver for the mobile sector was ever greater performance to deliver new features and a better user experience. The power consumption was not deemed a significant issue, as both the radio and the display were the dominant factors in battery life determination.

“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.

“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 helping to provide clear differentiation for such products based on both cost and battery life.”