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

Panasonic Announces New Connectivity Service for Mobile Workforce

By: Ken Briodagh    10/19/2017

Panasonic P.180 Connectivity Service Will Offer Seamless LTE Connectivity Worldwide

Read More

Verizon, Qualcomm and Novatel Collaborate on 5G NR mmWave Trials and Deployment

By: Ken Briodagh    10/18/2017

New partners commit to a common mobile and fixed 3GPP compliant specification for 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands

Read More

CENTRI Announces IoT Advanced Security for Arm Mbed

By: Ken Briodagh    10/17/2017

CENTRI, a provider of IoT security, has announced that its Internet of Things Advanced Security (IoTAS) now supports the Arm Mbed IoT Device Platform.

Read More

Samsung Image Sensors Bring New Attributes to IoT Applications

By: Ken Briodagh    10/12/2017

Samsung releases ISOCELL Fast 2L9 with Dual Pixel technology and ISOCELL Slim 2X7 with Tetracell technology

Read More

Laird Brings Bluetooth Dual-Mode to HCI Modules

By: Ken Briodagh    10/12/2017

In a recent release, global technology company Laird has announced a new line of Bluetooth-qualified Class 1 HCI modules for rapid enablement of Bluet…

Read More