With the recent growth in the IoT market we are seeing an increase in the number of wireless devices. These devices are typically battery powered and sensitive to power consumption, as a result there is a drive to improve efficiency and performance. By understanding where a given die is with respect to process, voltage, and temperature, a more optimum solution can be found.
The Internet of Things has a specific requirement for low power solutions for high performance applications and Moortec have recently introduced a smaller scale, lower power, Internet-of-Things (IoT) focused embedded monitoring subsystem, targeting TSMC’s 40ULP (Ultra Low Power) process technology. The new subsystem is specifically tailored for ultra-low power (ULP) applications such as detectors, sensors, actuators and LED lights. In order for all these levels of IoT related technologies to be optimized and therefore run reliably and within a safe operating environment it is essential to monitor their key metrics such as die temperature, voltage supply and process variation.
Accurate In-Chip monitoring of process, voltage and temperature is key to implementing die optimisation. We all know the relationship between power consumption and supply voltage of CMOS logic. Being able to reduce the supply by even a few percent based on that particular die’s process point, also combined with the environmental conditions that allow, will result in power savings worth having. The same is true with performance, if a given clock speed can be met with a lower supply. But none of this is possible if the monitors are not accurate.
By being aware of a devices thermal and voltage environment and understanding where a given device is within the ever increasing sphere of device variation, allows the system architects and circuit designers to get more from a given piece of silicon. With the increase as well in the cost of advanced nodes, this is becoming even more important to ensure every last drop of performance is extracted from a die.
The costs of advanced node technologies are continuing to increase, and we are already starting to see a fragmentation, with the really advanced nodes becoming more niche for those devices which really need the performance. For those nodes, optimisation will be part of the architecture to ensure the cost of those expensive technologies is minimised. As other parts of the industry (IoT being a good example), moves down to smaller nodes, they will look to differentiate their products from their competitor and good die optimisation will play a part in that.
To support the rapidly evolving IoT landscape, today’s System-on-Chip (SoC) designs require solutions adapted to specific market constraints, which includes power efficiency and device reliability. Moortec’s new monitoring subsystem is developed specifically to physically monitor dynamic and static conditions deep within IoT enabled edge devices, hence enabling tight control over thermal, voltage supply and operational speed conditions. The product is therefore aimed at enabling chip developers to optimise power performance for their low-power end-use applications.
So far, chip monitoring solutions from Moortec have targeted applications areas such as Datacentre & Enterprise, Automotive, AI, Mobile, Consumer and Telecommunications, which utilise advanced node CMOS technologies. With this announcement the company has now made available a highly targeted Process, Voltage and Temperature (PVT) monitoring subsystem variant helping to alleviate the challenges faced by the IoT design community.
Moortec’s IP solution, being the first in its range of IoT targeted products, has been developed for TSMC’s 40nm ULP CMOS technology. By detecting process variability for each chip manufactured and monitoring the dynamic changes to temperature and voltage supply conditions, the IP can be used to enable continuous Dynamic Frequency and Voltage Scaling (DVFS) and Adaptive Voltage Scaling (AVS) optimisation schemes. The subsystem delivery also includes a sophisticated PVT Controller with AMBA APB interfacing, supporting multiple monitor instances, statistics gathering, production test access support as well as other compelling features.
“We understand that the developers of IoT edge devices need deterministic, reliable and highly power efficient solutions,” said Stephen Crosher, CEO of Moortec. “Our new IoT specific range of monitoring IP solutions will allow in-chip conditions to be accurately sensed and tightly controlled, allowing our customers to develop compelling IoT connected products.”
Established in 2005, Moortec provides compelling embedded subsystem IP solutions for Process, Voltage & Temperature (PVT) monitoring, targeting advanced node CMOS technologies from 40nm down to 7nm. Moortec’s in-chip sensing solutions support the semiconductor design community’s demands for increased device reliability and enhanced performance optimisation, enabling schemes such as DVFS, AVS and power management control systems. Moortec provides excellent support for IP application, integration and device test during production. Moortec’s high-performance analog and mixed-signal IP designs are delivered to ASIC and System on Chip (SoC) technologies within the consumer, mobile, automotive, high performance computing and telecommunications sectors. For more information, please visit www.moortec.com, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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