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The Newest Products for Your Newest Designs® portunity remains for Ambiq to start adding wireless and other circuits to its product offerings using SPOT. ARM is now offering a Bluetooth connectivity package of IP under the name Cordio. Noonen declined to say whether Ambiq has licensed the Cordio technology from ARM. Another area of relevance to all low power systems is embedded non-volatile memory, often seen as a key to fast shutdown and wake up operations to allow power saving. However, while embedded flash memory has been deployed at CMOS logic nodes, due to problems with scaling, rival technologies may displace it for embedded memory at 28nm and below. Is this something that Ambiq ponders or do they just work with whatever embedded memory a chosen foundry can provide? “There is a renewed opportunity in memory in general. And for the Internet of Things having non-volatile memory is vital. There’s flash, one-time-programmable antifuse and many other choices,” said Noonen reminding us that he is also on the board of Kilopass Technology Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) a licensor of NVM antifuse technology. “Having a broader understanding of memory certainly helps,” adds Noonen. Ambiq and PsiKick We also asked Noonen about the chances of Ambiq working with, or acquiring another company that has specialized in sub-threshold voltage operation, PsiKick Inc. (Charlottesville, Virginia). That company launched a couple of years after Ambiq and has focused on developing wireless sensor network SoCs. With operations down to 0.25V it claims it can provide a 100 to 1,000-fold improvement in power consumption in a single chip compared with multi-component solutions. Noonen points out affinities between Ambiq and PsiKick without indicating any closer ties. “PsiKick came out of the University of Michigan, like Ambiq did. We think the fundamental philosophy of sub-threshold can be applied in multiple directions. Previously this sort of technology was only used for hearing aids and Swatch watches. There’s plenty of room for multiple companies to work in energy optimization.” In December 2014, Ambiq raised a $15 million round of venture capital led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and has no immediate need of additional capital, Noonen said. “Now the job is to get lots of design wins.” Ambiq has already sold out a first issue of evaluation kits having shipped several hundred but expects to have them available again within a matter of days. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2015 13 Go Widest_UK_93x277.indd 1 11/06/15 11:03


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