Stealth start-up SuVolta came out of hiding Monday to announce a new microprocessor design that it says can reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent or more, while maintaining the same performance levels of conventional processors. The SuVolta PowerShrink platform is a technology that addresses the primary cause of excess power consumption by minimizing the electrical variation of the millions of transistors on a chip.
"While the industry's focus has historically been on performance, more recently power has become the biggest design constraint for electronic products," said Dr. Bruce McWilliams, president and CEO of SuVolta. "By providing the industry with a clever and easily manufacturable way to cut power in half or more, SuVolta makes possible the development of portable products with extended time between battery charges. The SuVolta PowerShrink platform will scale to much smaller feature sizes and bring advantages for future generations of integrated circuit designs."
SuVolta's Deeply Depleted Channel transistor uses a unique channel structure with significant benefits for low power operation compared to conventional transistor technology. SuVolta is licensing its technology rather than manufacturing equipment itself, and has signed its first licensing deal with Fujitsu Semiconductor. The PowerShrink technology will likely see its initial implementation phones, tablets and netbook PCs. But low-power mobile chips from ARM Holdings and Intel are now being adapted for use in servers, so SuVolta is a technology that bears watching.
The company is backed by a group of investors with broad experience building leadership companies, including venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), August Capital and NEA. The company received $22 million in funding in May 2010.