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Asynchronous design startup readies ultra-low power 16-bit MCU

December 01, 2008 //

On the eve of the IP2008 conference this week in Grenoble, Tiempo AS, French startup specializing in the design of asynchronous ICs, has unveiled a 16-bit microcontroller core that is claimed to consume less than 40 µA per MIPS.


PARIS — On the eve of the IP'2008 conference this week in Grenoble, Tiempo AS, French startup specializing in the design of asynchronous ICs, has unveiled a 16-bit microcontroller core that is claimed to consume less than 40 µA per MIPS.

Tiempo (Montbonnot, France) said its 16-bit microcontroller core provides a power-efficient instruction set and integrates peripherals such as interrupt controller, UART & cascadable timers.

The consumption of the chip core, Tiempo added, goes down to 37 µA per MIPS when operating at 0.7 V (47 µA at 1.2 V), including leakage current of used general-purpose process. Power consumption of instructions that include communication with peripherals and memories was measured at 61 µA, i.e., less than 25 µA per (equivalent) MHz.

Among other potential applications, Tiempo cited ultra-low power chips for embedded electronics, e.g. power management chips, sensor networks, metering devices, RFID, smartcards, as well as chips that must operate with low electromagnetic emissions, e.g. electronics for the automotive and medical industries.

In June, Tiempo claimed it had produced a delay-insensitive DES cryptoprocessor as a demonstrator of its design capabilities and intellectual property. This followed the release, in May 2008, of a clock-less cryptoprocessor chip, the DES4, which includes four different DES cores available as IP and able to execute standard ciphering algorithms DES, DES-1, 3DES and 3DES-1.

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