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Next Gen of ULP Sensor Hubs is on Its Way

QuickLogic QuickLogic

Today’s announcement from the well-known full service semiconductor company, Global Foundries and QuickLogic (NASDAQ:QUIK), will interest those looking for ultra low power (ULP) sensor hubs. The new ArcticLink 3 S2 is optimized for smartphones and the new wearable devices.

QuickLogic is known as being an innovator of ultra low power programmable Customer Specific Standard Products — silicon platforms plus software solutions. Its next generation ArcticLink 3 S2 platform is sampling on Global Foundries own lower power 65 nanometer process technology. Global Foundries also prides itself on its 14nm FinFET leading edge technologies fashioned for high-volume, high-performance and power-efficient SoC applications.

Sensor hubs like the 3 S2 store sensor data and sensor algorithms and run them. They should execute those functions quickly. The ArcticLink 3 S2 Sensor Hub a context-aware sensor hub. It promises OEMs four times the computational capability, four times the sensor algorithm memory, and eight times the sensor data memory in a pin-identical footprint. The hub’s active power consumption is ~150μW, meaning the sub-system consumes less than 2 percent of system battery resources. A video explanation of the new ArcticLink 3 S2 can be viewed here.

The 3 S2 is completely compatible with the Android 4.x OS, including KitKat 4.4, and RTOS-based systems. It can support 12 sensors simultaneously, such as gesture, heart rate, gyroscope, and ambient light. The developer provides standard Android driver libraries so OEM systems can quickly integrate with the hub. Software, sensor and sensor algorithm engineers are able to customize the functionality of the ArcticLink 3 S2 through QuickLogic’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Development Board.

Global Foundries’ 65nm LPe (low power enhanced) technology significantly improves power utilization while extending battery life by using innovative leakage reduction techniques. This makes it perfect for battery operated mobile applications that are cost sensitive. The semiconductor company’s technology is helping QuickLogic optimize its latest product.

Brian Faith, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at QuickLogic and an Adjunct Lecturer at Santa Clara University for Programmable Logic courses said: “This new collaboration with Global Foundries as the manufacturer for the S2 platform will help us meet our demanding time-to-market requirements with a technology that delivers the right balance of performance, power consumption, and cost.”
Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of product management at Global Foundries pointed out: “As the industry continues its seismic shift from PC to mobility, a whole new set of applications and devices are driving the need for differentiated silicon solutions,”

QuickLogic Corporation is traded as QUIK on NASDAQ and has held a value in the mid $3.00 for the last five years. Global Foundries is privately held, owned by Mubadala Development Company out of Abu Dhabi. Global Foundries has three 300mm fabs and five 200mm fabs providing a full range of process technologies from mainstream to the leading edge from the US to Germany to Malta to Singapore.

The S2 Sensor Hub is expected to be production-certified in Q4 2014.