TORONTO – Despite a lingering perception that the market for static random access memory (SRAM) is shrinking, at least one company is confident that there will be new opportunities for SRAM while another is taking advantage of its longevity in some devices.
Based in Sheffield, England, sureCore is a relatively young company that recently announced its latest ultra-low voltage SRAM IP, which operates at what the company claims is a “record-setting” 0.6V across process, voltage and temperature. In a telephone interview with EE Times, CEO Paul Wells said the results are silicon-proven on TSMC's 40nm Ultra Low Power CMOS process technology.
Wells said the total embedded memory market, which also includes DRAM and flash, is growing, and that SRAM is holding steady at around 40% of that market. Wells said embedded devices are following a path similar to that of the PC market, where the easiest way to get a speed boost is more memory, as graphics and microcontrollers are increasing their memory use and putting more of it on a chip. “In terms of density and performance, SRAM provides best compromise,” Wells said.
Although embedded DRAM and flash can be viable alternatives for some applications, they both involve more process steps, said Wells. “There's a cost penalty,” he said. “SRAM is still pushing a lot of the right buttons.”