USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

SBIR Phase I: EI/ES6: Low Power Consumption Digital IC Systems

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Granite Mountain Technologies
7199 S. Mountain Glen Ln Salt Lake City, UT 84121-7907
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: SBIR Phase I: EI/ES6: Low Power Consumption Digital IC Systems
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1249016
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) Phase I project commercializes a technology that reduces the energy consumption in digital electronics on average by a factor of three. The solution applies across the complete semiconductor marketplace. The power advantages are derived based on designing multi-synchronous digital electronics. A next generation design flow is developed for multi-synchronous systems based on a novel method called relative timing. Relative timing enables the application of the standard single clock frequency Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools and flows to be seamlessly applied to the design of multiple timing domains in a single digital integrated circuit. No modifications to the standard cell libraries are required. Some additional EDA is necessary to support the extended concurrency and synchronization provided by additional multi-synchronous circuit Intellectual Property (IP) primitives. These IP blocks enable lower power, reduced area, and higher performance than single frequency designs. Timing constraints in these multi-synchronous systems are based on formal verification and therefore are proven correct and complete. System design productivity is enhanced due to design modularity. This project validates the method by developing a product-ready semiconductor design that demonstrates a significant competitive advantage in power, area, and performance against a traditional single frequency design. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project addresses the need for reduced energy consumption in digital electronics and is rooted in the exponential growth in transistors on integrated circuits. Previously, as designs became power limited, new transistor technologies were introduced. Each logic family provided lower power and better performance. No new transistor technology is on the horizon, making design contributions to energy efficiency critical. The localized efficiency of multi-synchronous design is one of very few design methods that provide significant energy reduction. Successful commercialization will result in this technology being applied across the semiconductor industry to products ranging from performance cloud compute servers to medical electronics and sensors. Industry wide growth will occur through EDA and custom circuit IP products that enable the development of multi-synchronous architectures. Open market and strategic partnerships with world class semiconductor companies for training, consulting, and early product development will reduce early risk and develop market acceptance. Ultra-low power medical applications such as digital hearing aid devices particularly benefit from multi-synchronous technology. Increased battery life reduces product cost and improves the quality of life for seniors and the disabled. Similarly, ultra-low power biomedical wireless sensors likewise provide societal benefit.

Principal Investigator:

Richard Rubinstein

Business Contact:

Richard Rubinstein
Small Business Information at Submission:

Granite Mountain Technologies
7199 S. Mountain Glen Ln Salt Lake City, UT 84121-7907

EIN/Tax ID: 272339666
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No