Ultra-Low Power Processors an Arm’s Reach Away
Mitchell Gracie posted on March 18, 2019 |
Minima and Arm sign multi-year strategic intellectual property agreement.
“We turn science fiction into actual reality with science,” is a motto for Minima Processor Oy. With its recent announcement for a strategic intellectual property agreement with Arm, the Finland-based company is telling the truth. (Image courtesy of Minima Processor.)
“We turn science fiction into actual reality with science,” is a motto for Minima Processor Oy. With its recent announcement for a strategic intellectual property agreement with Arm, the Finland-based company is telling the truth. (Image courtesy of Minima Processor.)

Minima Processor Oy is set to gain access to Arm Artisan Physical Intellectual Property (IP) for 22nm ultra-low leakage (ULL) process technology upon the recent signing of a multi-year strategic intellectual property (IP) agreement between Minima and Arm.

Living up to its name, Finland-based Minima specializes in near-threshold voltage designs that bring software and hardware together to enable integrated chips (ICs) to meet their minimum energy points. In the past, it has achieved an incredible 3.15 picojoules per operation on a 32-bit processor.

“Access to Arm’s physical IP portfolio gives us the means to provide Arm users with optimized ultra-low power solutions for a variety of applications,” said Tuomas Hollman, Minima executive vice president of products and business development.

In particular, the agreement will allow for products using Minima Dynamic Margining IP ultra-low power technologies to be optimized for Arm-based system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

“The collaboration helps designers achieve their SoC performance, power and area targets,” Hollman said.

A graph represents the sweet-spot of power usage of an IC. (Image courtesy of Minima Processor.)
A graph represents the sweet-spot of power usage of an IC. (Image courtesy of Minima Processor.)

The push to lower the appetites of ICs for power comes from two sides: the sometimes-slow progress in battery technologies—which slows progress in the markets wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and microcontrollers—and the need for greener technologies. Bringing together the best ideas from both hardware and software, Minima has seen success in finding the minimum energy points for a given IC and letting the chip settle into that minimum.

“Mobile and consumer IoT applications demand low-power, always-on, wake-up capabilities,” said Kelvin Low, Arm vice president of marketing of the Physical Design Group. “By implementing Arm physical IP, Minima Processor is able to optimize these features and deliver significant power and area reductions while meeting the performance requirements for these applications.”

Excited to learn more? Minima and Arm will be featured at the Design Automation Conference Pavilion area in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas June 2-6 during the panel sessions. Come July 9-11, the two companies will be at ES Design West’s “Meet the Experts” Theatre, which will be co-located with SEMICON West at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.


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