Ultra Low Power, High Performance Microprocessor Core for Military and Space Applications

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-082
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
American Semiconductor, Inc.
3100 S. Vista Ave., Suite 230, Boise, ID, 83705
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
David Roberts
Sr. Design Engineer
(208) 336-2773
Business Contact:
Lorelli Hackler
Chief Financial Officer
(208) 336-2773
Research Institution:
For Phase I, an ultra low power, high performance microprocessor core using a combination of double-gated and independent double-gated FlexfetT SOI CMOS technology from American Semiconductor will be designed to address the requirements of military and space communication systems. High integration feasibility using Flexfet technologies followed by confirmation of the power and performance improvements are the goals of the research. An ultra low power microprocessor core with high performance will demonstrate the high levels of integration necessary for growing complexity of communication systems. For these electronic systems, the energy requirements define their size, weight and endurance which limit mission capabilities. For minimum energy consumption, digital logic and memories must operate efficiently with lower supply voltage. American Semiconductor's Flexfet process is ideally suited for the design of ultra low power devices. Flexfet transistors provide a wide range of dynamic threshold voltage adjustment which can reduce power by allowing selection of the optimum supply and threshold voltage combination to meet the performance goals of the system. The Flexfet technology provides an innovative solution for superior environmental characteristics to meet temperature and radiation tolerance requirements with ability to fine tune the power and performance for high levels of integration like a microprocessor. BENEFIT: The need for dramatic breakthroughs in the area of ultra low power electronics is crucial for continued advancement in functionality, cost, and efficiency across the spectrum of commercial, medical, space and military applications. The need for lower power, higher performance, and more environmentally friendly microelectronics is applicable in virtually every electronic product. American Semiconductor's independently double-gated SOI CMOS fabrication process can provide breakthrough advancement in ultra low power microelectronic designs. These advancements enable the development of future commercial, medical, space, and military products that will save and improve lives in all private and public sectors. One of the key challenges facing highly integrated electronics is the reduction of power consumption in state-of-the-art CMOS processes. Minimum energy operation is an important requirement for a wide variety of critical systems including communications, sensors, and portable applications. Unfortunately, achieving ultra low power electronics with high performance in state-of-the-art single gate CMOS technologies is becoming increasingly difficult. Barriers to this goal include subthreshold slope, transistor leakage, and process variation. American Semiconductor's FlexfetT double-gated (optimal subthreshold slope of 60mV/dec) and independently double-gated (dynamic Vt adjustment) technology directly addresses these barriers and allows a step function improvement in low power design of highly integrated digital logic and memory circuits. Any new ultra low power electronics technology must be successfully commercialized to insure technology availability to defense programs, provide a stable supply base, and benefit from on-going development to sustain the technology. American Semiconductor has a demonstrated track record supplying and supporting new technology. An example of American Semiconductor's success in commercialization was the company's selection as the 2007 Supplier of the Year Award for Technology from Boeing Corp. Under this proposal, American Semiconductor will develop embedded microprocessor technology feasible for commercialization of ultra low power integrated circuits. Primary target markets include the commercial wireless market estimated at $2B, the commercial memory market at up to $4.5B, and the aerospace market at approximate $1.4B.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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