An R&D project between the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and STMicroelectronics has developed a reduced consumption 32-bit ultra-low-voltage microprocessor SoC which could be used in wireless sensors and implantable medical devices.
The results presented at the European Solid-State Circuits Conference in Helsinki, Finland, detailed a voltage-scalable 32-bit microprocessor SoC which is in implemented in ST’s 65 nm CMOS process has has a power consumption 10.2 pJ/cycle at 0.54 V, while the SRAM memory cells can operate at 0.4 V.
Memory-access power consumption is further reduced through the use of a small latch-based instruction and data caches at the first level of the hierarchy. The SoC includes on-chip ultra low power clock generation and analog-to-digital conversion, as well as a set of peripherals, such as timers and serial interfaces able to work at the minimum voltage supply.
Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan, Department Head of EECS at MIT, said “We are excited that our collaborative project with STMicroelectronics has resulted in an ultra-low-power microprocessor SoC. MIT researchers and STMicroelectronics engineers worked together to develop and implement a number of architectural and circuit technique to reduce power consumption. The energy-efficient processor will enable a number of exciting sensor network applications such as embedded bio-medical systems.”
Alessandro Cremonesi, Strategy and System Technology Group Vice President and Advanced System Technology General Manager, STMicroelectronics, added, “This breakthrough technology can enable the development of an entirely new generation of microprocessors for wireless sensors and implantable medical devices, where minimized power consumption and long battery life are absolutely critical.”
ST is a member of the Microsystems Industrial Group at MIT’s MTL, an industry consortium that supports MTL’s infrastructure and provides direction to its research and educational objectives in consultation with the faculty.