Mark Zuckerburg believes so strongly that the future is the metaverse that he changed the name of Facebook to Meta. Suddenly, an old sci-fi word has become the hottest mainstream concept with billions being invested to create its virtual worlds with hardware such as augmented reality smart glasses and full immersion artificial reality goggles.
“Both glasses and goggles have to be lightweight with long battery lives,” explained Paul Wells, sureCore’s founder and CEO. “As designers don’t want to have the latency of sending data back and forth from the cloud to the glasses/goggles, huge amounts of processing have to be done on board which therefore means large amounts of power-hungry memory for image and video manipulation as well as localised high-performance compute. As our innovative memory designs need up to 50% less power than standard, off-the-shelf memory, we believe that our technologies will be the key to successful, wearable, metaverse hardware.”
One of the key challenges, in particular, is building a power efficient frame buffer to drive the displays. These large memory subsystems can be anywhere from 10MByte to 100Mbyte in size and need to support very high data bandwidths. They present a huge power problem for developers. Not only is the dynamic power critical as the displays may need regular updates with video presenting the most power-hungry demands. In addition, having such a large amount of active memory means extremely high leakage currents which, at elevated temperatures, can dominate the power profile. Off-the-shelf memory designs from both foundries and the major IP vendors are most often optimised for area and performance with virtually no consideration for power consumption. This gives a flat, two-dimensional selection space which, rather appropriately for these three-dimensional augmented reality applications, is completely inadequate. sureCore, as part of its bespoke custom memory development service, sureFIT, has delivered memory sub-system solutions optimised for the three-dimensional design space of Power, Performance and Area (PPA). In one AR customer engagement, sureCore was able to deliver in excess of 40% total power savings compared to off-the-shelf solutions.
Whilst a bespoke solution offers the opportunity to engineer the optimal solution for the target application, sureCore has a range of power-optimised, standard products that deliver market-leading power profiles so urgently needed by these applications. These include Everon, PowerMiser, and MiniMiser. Further details can be found at on sureCore’s product page. Power savings can be realised both at nominal operating voltages and, increasingly importantly, at low to near threshold voltages allowing the application designers to tailor the power profile to the performance requirements. sureCore memories offer single rail, low voltage operation thereby allowing direct logic connection and significantly easing system level design considerations.
“As we have been saying for some time, power is the most important consideration for so many applications. With memory needs relentlessly increasing, developers now have no choice but to look for alternative solutions. sureCore has the technology and can deliver the power savings so desperately needed,” said Paul Wells, CEO.