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

IBM and NUS Announce FinTech and Blockchain Collaboration in Singapore

By: Ken Briodagh    4/25/2017

The National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing and the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation (ICBI), a part of IBM Research, recently a…

Read More

Telit Combines LoRaWAN and BLE in New IoT Wireless Module and Joins LoRa Alliance

By: Ken Briodagh    4/25/2017

In a recent announcement, Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), has introduced the RE866A1-EU, its LoRaWAN protocol, Bluetooth low …

Read More

The Whole World is Wireless with LTE

By: Carl Ford    4/25/2017

When LTE was first set up as a standard the need for better bandwidth services was at its peak.

Read More

New Webinar: Important Factors for Using Business LTE

By: Ken Briodagh    4/20/2017

Get Wireless, Sierra Wireless and IoT Evolution will jointly host a new webinar, "Top 5 considerations for LTE in your business."

Read More

Systech Announces New IoT Gateway, Made in USA

By: Ken Briodagh    4/19/2017

According to a recent announcement, Systech Corporation, headquartered in San Diego, CA, has launched a new modular IoT hardware gateway, the SysLINK …

Read More