Menu

M2M FEATURE NEWS

Ambiq Micro's SPOT Fetches Lower IoT Power Requirements

By Paula Bernier November 17, 2016

Ambiq Micro has a semiconductor solution that it says requires a whole lot less power than competing solutions, and now the company is working to apply that technology to other aspects of the Internet of Things.

The company calls this technology Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology, or SPOT. Thomas Chen, senior director of marketing of Ambiq Micro, explained that typical circuit design runs at 1.8 Volts but that the Ambiq Micro solution runs at or around .5 Volts, which is in the sub-threshold region. Circuits don’t typically work in that region – which is problematic due to susceptibility to noise, high sensitivity to temperature, and variability due to process drift. But the company found a way to make it work by redesigning every analog and digital circuit in the chip to adapt for the temperature, voltage, and manufacturing variations that are problematic at these voltage levels.

“Rather than using transistors that are turned all the way on, subthreshold circuits use the leakage of off transistors to compute in both the digital and analog domains,” according to the company. “With most computations handled by using only leakage current, total system power consumption on the order of nanoamps is easily achieved. For example, when compared to a typical circuit operating at 1.8 volts, a near-threshold circuit operating at 0.5 volts can achieve up to a 13-time improvement in dynamic power. An even more aggressive sub-threshold circuit operating at 0.3 volts can achieve up to a 36 times improvement.”

This solution evolved from research Ambiq Micro’s founder and CTO Scott Hanson did while he was at the University of Michigan. Since opening for business Ambiq Micro has shipped 10 million of the SPOT units. And now the company is applying the technology to connectivity and sensors used in wearables, said Chen.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Executive Editor, TMC

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Protocols: The Significance of ULE is Growing

By: Special Guest    1/16/2018

The IoT market has seen a considerable growing trend of Ultra Low Energy (ULE) over the past 2 years.

Read More

MultiTech Achieves LTE Category M1 Device Approval for AT&T Network

By: Ken Briodagh    1/10/2018

Latest additions to MultiConnect Cell 100 Series and SocketModem Cell device families available today for AT&T customers

Read More

Panasonic Sells Semiconductor Patents to WiLAN Subsidiary

By: Ken Briodagh    1/10/2018

In a recent announcement, Wi-LAN has made public that its subsidiary Cetus Technologies acquired a portfolio of semiconductor memory patents from Pana…

Read More

Semtech Launches Next Generation LoRa Platform

By: Ken Briodagh    1/8/2018

New family of chipsets extends range with 50 percent reduction in power establishing LoRa as the defacto technology of choice for LPWAN solutions

Read More

IoT and Sustainability: How Farming and IoT Meet

By: Ken Briodagh    1/5/2018

Here, we spoke to Rick Harlow, Executive VP & Head of Americas, Flutura Decision Sciences & Analytics, who will be a featured speaker at the LPWAN Exp…

Read More