Batteries and Portable Power

GaAs Power Conversion coming from ams and Sarda

The Full Service Foundry division of ams AG and Sarda Technologies, Inc. today announced at Cadence Design Systems, Inc.’s CDNLive user conference in Santa Clara, California, that ams is manufacturing Sarda’s advanced high-voltage CMOS drivers which play a key role in their gallium-arsenide (GaAs) Heterogeneous Integrated Power Stage (HIPS). Sarda has HIPS prototypes that demonstrate very low switching loss up to 4MHz for 12V input and 14A, 1V output. The company is developing a family of HIPS products that support a wide range of input voltages and output currents.

Designed to address the rapidly escalating power consumption in data centers, Sarda's GaAs HIPS technology enables the development of voltage regulators that offer fast response, small size and high efficiency for granular power delivery. Sarda's custom driver is currently being fabricated in ams' 0.35µm high-voltage CMOS specialty process, which allows the efficient integration of voltage domains ranging from 3V to 120V on a single monolithic IC.

"This relationship proves, that there are strong foundry partners for start-ups to leverage the extensive capabilities of foundries", said Bob Conner, CEO and co-founder of Sarda. "ams is an excellent manufacturing partner. Their Full Service Foundry allowed us to develop a disruptive power management solution in a capital-efficient fashion, and their extensive value-added services allow small design teams to focus on developing differentiated IP."

As part of its comprehensive Full Service Foundry offering, ams supplied its industry benchmark PDK (hitkit) with its fully characterized analog and digital cell libraries and ESD compliant I/0 libraries for multiple voltage domains. Additionally, ams supported ESD/Latch up design reviews, packaging services, and failure analysis.

"Sarda's approach of integrating silicon ICs and gallium arsenide demonstrates how product developers can use 'More-than-Moore Scaling' to significantly improve data center power management, performance and energy efficiency", said Markus Wuchse, General Manager of ams Full Service Foundry division. "At ams, we are constantly engaging with innovative fabless start-ups to enable product releases in shortest times. Sarda is a perfect example for this cooperation model."

"Granular power delivery, consisting of fast power gating and fast dynamic voltage scaling of each load, can significantly improve energy efficiency. Granular power delivery uses a dedicated VR for each load i.e., each component in a system or core (or clusters of cores) in a multi-core processor or system-on-chip (SoC). An analogy is to replace the garden hose with a drip sprinkler system. Each VR supplies only as much power as is needed by either power gating or dynamic voltage scaling. Systems use multiple components processors, SoCs, FPGAs, memories, radios, etc. and each component requires multiple voltage levels for different cores, I/O, etc. Individually optimizing the power delivery to each of the 10 to 20 loads in a tablet or ultrabook or 50 to 100 loads in a server or router dramatically improves system energy efficiency and performance," commented Conner.

Sarda Technologies, Inc. , ams AG
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