SBIR Phase II: Ultra-Low Power Microcontroller Design

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0724361
Agency Tracking Number: 0539530
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1995 University Avenue, Ste 375, Suite 345, Berkeley, CA, 94704
DUNS: 602013836
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Alexander Ishii
 (609) 977-5545
Business Contact
 Alexander Ishii
Title: PhD
Phone: (609) 977-5545
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II research project will investigate novel integrated circuit design technologies for the realization of ultra-low-power microcontrollers. The main objective of this project is to investigate the deployment of novel charge-recovery circuitry for the design of an ultra-low-power leading-edge commercial microcontroller core. The resulting charge-recovery core is expected to dissipate 25-30% less power than its conventional counterpart. In conventional circuit design, capacitors are switched abruptly between supply and ground, dissipating all their stored energy as heat across resistive devices. In charge recovery design, on the other hand, capacitors are switched gradually, returning any energy that remains un-dissipated back to the power supply. The significant potential of charge recovery to reduce power consumption has so far remained untapped in the commercial world, primarily due to the lack of support for such a new design style that deviates from established design practices. The results of the proposed research are commercially applicable to the realization of a broad class of computer systems and consumer electronic devices that are subject to power efficiency requirements. Microcontrollers are essential elements of every System-on-Chip (SoC) and typically account for a substantial fraction of overall chip power, since they remain on most of the time. Embedded microcontrollers are key components of semiconductor chips for mobile devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants. Generating a commercial microcontroller core with substantially reduced power consumption will lead to a broad variety of next-generation computer and communication systems with enhanced features, longer battery life, and improved performance.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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