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Virage Logic memory platform consumes lesser power

Posted: 31 Jul 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:virage logic? ultra low power memory? ulp embedded memory? single port sram? ulp rom?

Virage Logic Corp. has announced the availability of its ultra low power (ULP) embedded memory platform that utilizes an architecture enabling it to consume four to 26 times less active power than competing products.

The initial release consists of the area, speed, and power (ASAP) ULP single-port SRAM, and the Self-Test and Repair (STAR) ULP single-port SRAM and ULP ROM. The devices are targeted for use in wireless portable applications such as cellphones, PDAs, and laptops.

Manufactured using Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg Co. 0.185m and 0.135m logic process, the ULP SRAMs and ROM feature built-in power management and power minimization features, making them suitable for sub-megabit to multi-megabit designs.

The memories are divided into sub-sections called banks. When the memory is in use, one or more banks become active, while the inactive banks are turned off, thus reducing active power consumption.

In addition, within the inactive banks, the clock signal is turned off, further reducing the power consumption. The memories also include separate schemes for controlling read and/or write operations allowing the power to be shut off as soon as the R/W operation is completed.

Sense amplifiers are also included to detect and amplify changes in the voltages of signals within the memory, enabling the devices to function faster while further reducing power consumption.

The company also employs a divided wordline scheme which enables half of the bitlines of a specific wordline to be active only at a particular time, thus reducing the bitline power in half.

For the ASAP and STAR ULP SRAMs, the combination of banking, plus divided wordlines enable the memories to operate at 465W/MHz for a 256Kb. In addition, the generated ULP SRAMs range from 128Kb to 512Kb.

For the STAR ULP ROM, it consumes 315W/MHz for a 1Mb device. Geared towards applications that require megabits of memory, STAR ULP ROMs can be generated ranging from 64Kb to 16Mb.

Pricing for the ASAP ULP SRAM starts at $57,000; the STAR ULP SRAM at $130,000; and the STAR ULP ROM starts at $200,000.

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