Silicon IP reduces significantly power consumption of flash memories

February 06, 2017, anysilicon

Connected battery-based devices require always more computing power to run feature rich application programs while using the minimal energy to ensure the longest usage without recharge. As a result, fabless companies need to hunt down every “mA” to satisfy the low-power expectations of their SoC users.


Numerous System-on-Chips rely on a Non-Volatile flash Memory – either embedded or external – to store the application program as it provides an easy firmware update whenever needed. A quick analysis shows that each access to the flash memory requires a significant amount of energy, thus providing room for appealing savings. At the same time, the main challenge for SoC designers is that application program characteristics are unknown in most cases at the date of SoC design-in, making any performance optimization challenging.


R-Stratus-LP is the first cache controller silicon IP optimized to address these low-power challenges. It indeed relies on an innovative architecture which reduces drastically the number of flash accesses, by up to 1,000 times, whatever the targeted CPU frequency, while enabling on-the-fly reconfiguration of relevant cache parameters for specific application program characteristics so as to achieve ultimate power savings.


Benchmarking shows that an embedded flash memory subsystem relying on R-Stratus-LP consumes up to 3x less power than a flash memory connected to an MCU with a prefetch system. Such power savings are even more impressive with external flash memories as R-Stratus-LP allows running code directly from a flash memory (Execute-In-Place, XIP).  Comparisons with other cache controllers also demonstrate that power consumption may be minimized thanks to R-Stratus-LP while using a cache memory of much lower capacity, thus enabling both area and power consumption savings for the same data throughput.


As selection of the appropriate values for cache parameters may be a burden for SoC designers, this innovative cache controller IP is provided with an EDA solution which allows easily identifying the best cache controller settings.


For more information about this offering: R-Status-LP dynamically reconfigurable cache controller


About Dolphin Integration


Dolphin Integration contributes to “enabling low-power Systems-on-Chip” for worldwide customers – up to the major actors of the semiconductor industry – with high-density Silicon IP components best at low-power consumption.

“Foundation IPs” includes innovative libraries of standard cells, register files and memory generators as well as an ultra-low power cache controller. “Fabric IPs” of voltage regulators, Power Island Construction Kit and their control network MAESTRO enable to safely implement low-power SoCs with the smallest silicon area. They also star the “Feature IP”: from ultra-low power Voice Activity Detector with high-resolution converters for audio and measurement applications to power-optimized 8 or 16 and 32 bit micro-controllers.


Over 30 years of experience in the integration of silicon IP components, providing services for ASIC/SoC design and fabrication with its own EDA solutions, make DOLPHIN Integration a genuine one-stop shop addressing all customers’ needs for specific requests.

It is not just one more supplier of Technology, but the provider of the DOLPHIN Integration know-how!


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