* Grant will accelerate development of Intelligent Output Driver (IOD) which delivers significant power saving across portable electronic devices
* Funding will enable Adiabatic Logic to produce 130nm technology-specific, production-worthy IP cells and an EDA design kit
CAMBRIDGE, England, September 27, 2004 Adiabatic Logic Limited (www.adiabaticlogic.com), a Cambridge-based company focused on creating and licensing intellectual property (IP) in the low power technology arena, has received a £500,000 (US$900k) funding boost from the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The Exceptional Research and Development Grant was awarded to Adiabatic Logic’s IP (intellectual property) holding company, Midas Green Limited.
Awarded for projects that will lead to technological developments of strategic importance for a technology or industrial sector, the grant will enable Adiabatic Logic to accelerate the development of its patented Intelligent Output Driver (IOD), which delivers 50-75% dynamic power savings in chip I/O for portable devices such as laptops, smartphones, handheld computers, digital cameras and MP3 players.
Adiabatic Logic is now looking to close its first funding round, which, coupled with the DTI funding, will enable Adiabatic Logic to produce 130nm technology-specific, production-worthy IP cells and a design kit compatible with leading electronic design automation (EDA) tools. The company will also use the capital to develop at least two credible reference design wins to prove IOD delivers the power savings in leading-edge silicon.
Simon Payne, CEO of Adiabatic Logic, said: “We are delighted that the DTI has awarded us this grant which we view as a major endorsement of our technology and our business plan. In electronics design, power is the next frontier to be conquered and our technology has huge potential to deliver significant power savings. With billions of chips produced each year which are addressable by IOD, we believe that our power saving technology has a very bright future particularly as it can shave up to 20% off the power budget for a portable electronic device such as a PDA or a 3G mobile phone.”
Government Minister Nigel Griffiths, said: “Adiabatic Logic’s IOD product is typical of the high tech innovation for which the DTI is delighted to provide grant support. We are delighted to back the company with a Grant for Research and Development. This is great news for the company, the East of England region and UK electronics industry as a whole.”
Anne Campbell MP for Cambridge, said: “This is fantastic news for Adiabatic Logic and for the Cambridge high tech community. The city has an excellent reputation for electronics innovation - with companies such as ARM, Cambridge Silicon Radio, nCipher, and Cambridge Broadband all pioneering in their fields and this looks set to continue with Adiabatic Logic.”
Adiabatic Logic’s IOD IP cell is designed to replace the conventional pad drivers in an integrated circuit (IC) and uses a patented energy recycling technique which exploits the principle of adiabatic or reversible computing. IOD recycles energy normally wasted each time a digital I/O pad driver makes a switching transition.
In addition to its power saving potential, Adiabatic Logic’s IOD solution offers a multitude of other potential benefits to IC and system developers. For example, it can reduce the overall component count and bill of material (BOM) cost by minimising battery size, cutting DC-DC converter/thermal management costs and eliminating the requirement for terminating resistors.
The first silicon implementation of IOD was completed in October 2003 using a 0.6-micron process technology. The results showed power savings of more than 50 per cent compared with traditional I/O schemes. Earlier this year, Adiabatic Logic signed a co-operation agreement with IMEC, Europe’s largest independent microelectronics and nanotechnology research center, which will result in IOD being incorporated into IMEC’s library of radiation hardened 180nm technology, for use in space, medical and scientific applications.
Geoff Harvey, chief technology officer of Adiabatic Logic, said: “We are very excited about the prospects of taking the development of IOD to the next logical stage and proving the potential that our technology has for minimising dynamic power in electronic systems. Developers of advanced processors, memory and interface chips and other ASSPs can easily realise power savings by selecting the IOD pad driver when building the output cells of next generation devices.”
How IOD works?
Adiabatic Logic’s IOD uses the speed of submicron CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) to actively mimic the voltage-current drive characteristics of a classic driver with a source (or series) terminator resistor. It does this in such a way that the bulk of the current is delivered to the load capacitance non-resistively from a reservoir capacitance maintained at a mid rail voltage, assisted by the inherent inductance of the load. The on-chip reservoir capacitance delivers charge on rising edges and recovers charge on falling edges thereby recycling energy, which is conventionally wasted.
About Adiabatic Logic Limited (www.adiabaticlogic.com)
Founded in 2002, Adiabatic Logic Limited is part of the Cambridge Technology Group and was set up to exploit a portfolio of secured patents in the low power technology arena. Adiabatic Logic has a patented technique with the potential to significantly reduce the power consumption of digital computer chips, such as those found in today’s laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones. The design team’s focus is on creating and applying intellectual property (IP) to exploit the concept of ‘loss-less’ processes. An adiabatic process is one in which no heat is gained or lost. It is a concept normally associated with the behaviour of gases but can be applied in other physical domains, such as electronics. The company is based at Dry Drayton, on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
About the Cambridge Technology Group (www.cambridgetechgroup.com)
Cambridge Technology Group is a holding company with three wholly owned subsidiaries - Adiabatic Logic Limited, Cambridge Technology Consultants Limited and XJTAG Limited. Cambridge Technology Consultants (www.camtechconsultants.com) offers its clients a broad range of services from high-end applications to innovative product development and technical consultancy skills. For ten years, its multi disciplinary team of hardware and software engineers have provided cost-effective solutions from concept through to pre-production. XJTAG Limited (www.xjtag.com) is a specialist design and test tool developer. Its JTAG (Joint Test Action Group) development system offers a competitive solution for designers and developers of electronic circuits.
About DTI R&D Grants
Grant for Research and Development is one of the Department of Trade and Industry's nine business support products designed to help businesses overcome barriers to success at key stages of their development. This product helps small and medium sized businesses in England to succeed through innovation. It provides grants to help them research and develop technologically innovative products and processes. One type of grant is the Exceptional Project grant. Up to £500,000 is available for qualifying projects that will lead to technological developments of strategic importance for a technology or industrial sector and which are likely to generate much wider economic benefits.
Martin Brooke Associates
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