Application Forecasts and Market Shares

UMC and SuVolta Join Forces to Target Mobile Applications

22 July 2013

Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation and SuVolta, Inc., are jointly developing a 28nm process that integrates SuVolta’s Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) transistor technology into UMC's 28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) high-performance mobile (HPM) process.

SuVolta is a developer of scalable semiconductor technologies for low-power, high-performance IC chips aimed at solving the power problem at the heart of nearly all electronics systems, according to the company.

SuVolta and UMC are working together to take advantage of implementing DDC transistor technology to reduce leakage power and improve SRAM low-voltage performance in mobile applications.

The 28nm process technology will enable a “DDC PowerShrink low-power platform” option, where all transistors on a chip utilize the DDC technology; and a “DDC DesignBoost transistor swap” option that works with existing design databases where a subset of transistors are replaced with DDC transistors.

Typical applications of the second option are replacing the leakier transistors with DDC transistors that could cut leakage, or replac the SRAM bitcell transistors with DDC transistors to improve performance and lower minimum operating voltage (Vmin).

As the Internet of Things continues to become more pervasive, electronics manufacturers need ultra-low power technology for sensors and other key components.

To meet that goal, SuVolta has announced that it has manufactured the ARM Cortex-M series processor with its DDC transistor technology on a 65nm bulk planar CMOS process that shows significant processor speed gains with associated power reduction, according to SuVolta.

Also, SuVolta has appointed veteran semiconductor executive Louis Parrillo as the company’s chief operating officer to help expand the adoption of DDC technology with more semiconductor manufacturers focused on advanced chip design.

Parrillo joins SuVolta from Rambus where he was vice president, chief technologist, NVM/Storage Division. Prior to joining Rambus, Parrillo was chief technology officer at Unity Semiconductor, which was acquired by Rambus. Before joining Unity Semiconductor, Parrillo was executive vice president, research and development at Spansion, and held senior executive-level roles at Motorola Semiconductor.

Parrillo started his career at Bell Laboratories where he co-developed Twin Tub CMOS technology that became an industry standard for high performance CMOS.

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