SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ambiq Micro Inc. (Westlake Hills, Texas) has announced the introduction to the market of the AM08XX and AM18XX real-time clock (RTC) chips, which the company claims are the world's lowest power RTC chips. The typical active current is between 15 and 55 nanoamperes, Ambiq said.
The chips are intended to help control power-sensitive applications such as real-time backup, wireless sensors, tags, smart cards and security tokens, utility meters, dataloggers and handsets.
The AM08XX product family is a functionally diverse RTC family that replaces existing, more power-hungry RTC products. Variants of the AM08XX product family are footprint compatible with popular RTC products currently on the market and cover SOIC-8 and QFN-16 package types and I2C and SPI serial communications options and varieties of on-chip SRAM up to 256-bytes. The AM18XX product family includes all functions in the AM08XX family but also includes power management functionality that enables system-level power savings.
The AM18XX-EVK evaluation kit, which provides access to all input and output signals on the RTC, comes in the form of a motherboard that connects to a PC through a USB cable.
Ambiq did not provide a price for the ICs or the evaluation kit or state whether it is able to supply in volume.
Ambiq entered the Silicon 60, EE Times' list of
emerging startup companies at version 12.5 in April 2011, which is the subject of a
detailed technology and employment digital edition which can be accessed
When was this product launched? Looks like these two are the first set of products launched by this company? Might be worth waiting for a while before putting this into an industrial embedded e;ectronics system?
Ambiq is actually a spin-off from the University of Michigan, though you are right that low voltage circuit design is a key area of expertise and IP at Ambiq. Ambiq's IP was developed by a group of leading low power researchers over the last 8 years and is wide ranging. If you are interested in learning more about the company's technology, please visit http://ambiqmicro.com/technology. Please also feel free to send any unanswered questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Scott Hanson, CEO/Founder at Ambiq
If I remember correctly, this is the spinoff from UIUC group working on subthreshold circuits. Any circuit with modifications to make sure, it works in the sub threshold region can be patentable. Meets the patentability criteria on novelty and non obviousness.
This will put the RTCs from the list of power hungry interface's list in the embedded systems, and designers will be able to make use of it efficiently, it will also help a lot in biomedical applications of embedded systems.
They seem to claim to have patented the RC oscillator, and also using a N channel MOSFET as a Power Switch ?
Amazing. Underlines why Patent reform is LONG overdue.
That aside, the numbers are impressive, but it seems they consider waving the patent banner, more important than telling anyone the price.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.