Ambiq Micro is redefining “ultra-low power” with its unique and proprietary Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform. The patented SPOT™ architecture uses transistors biased in the subthreshold region of operation (aka very low voltages) to achieve unmatched energy efficiency.
Breakthrough subthreshold design
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. 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 1.8V, a “near-threshold” circuit operating at 0.5V can achieve up to a 13X improvement in dynamic power.
Operation at such low voltages is problematic due to susceptibility to noise, high sensitivity to temperature, and variability due to process drift. In developing the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro has addressed all of these challenges 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.
Implemented in Standard CMOS
Despite the comprehensive use of subthreshold voltages in the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro’s products behave just like any other semiconductor device and they are implemented using industry-standard CMOS manufacturing flows. The one difference: dramatically reduced power consumption.