updated 03:55 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011
New process/technology breaks 1V barrier
Fujitsu Semiconductor and SuVolta have demonstrated a new process and technology that promises to greatly reduce the power consumption of SRAM. The new technology could be used to create SRAM capable of operating at ultra-low-voltages of 0.4V, less than one-half of today's power consumption levels. The new lower voltage SRAM could soon be seeing its way into mobile devices, tethered servers, and networking equipment.
One of the biggest challenges facing semiconductor manufacturers today has been supply voltages. While the form factor of semiconductors has shrunk from 130 nanometers to 28, there hasn't been a corresponding drop in power supply voltage. That has remained at about 1V. This barrier has become a major barrier to improving performance and adding functionality to CMOS.
Fujitsu is planning to use the technology in public-facing hardware, although it hasn't given an estimate as to when this would happen. It's likely to be non-exclusive and support other companies.