As Andy Pease succinctly pointed out during the product introduction presentation, our ViaLink-based non-volatile programmable logic technology has served QuickLogic quite well for many years, allowing us to provide devices for historic applications such as aerospace and military, as well as newer applications such as Inter-Processor Communications in the Kyocera HoneyBee 5. But, as with all things consumer electronic, the market often moves in different directions, requiring suppliers to be nimble and responsive.
To meet the needs of today’s and tomorrows mobile devices, we designed the PolarPro 3 platform.
The PolarPro 3 platform differs from its predecessors mainly in that it is reprogrammable. While our non-volatile logic still is very attractive for OEMs, they are pushing for reprogrammable solutions to complement the non-volatile ones. The new platform offers OEMs the ability to use the same devices for different use cases inside of the same device; what I mean by this is that the device, due to its reprogrammable nature, can be set up as an interface translation function in one use case and a communication function in another. Further, it allows flexibility in sourcing, allowing the same device to be purchased and used across multiple OEM platforms.
The PolarPro 3 platform differs from its competitors in two very important ways: power consumption and logic cell architecture.
- In the area of power consumption, OEMs are interested in two metrics: active and static. Active power consumption is the measure of a device’s power consumption while operating – active power consumption is arguably not as important as static for programmable logic devices, as the active power consumption is a fraction of the power consumption of other components, such as displays. However, static power consumption (the power consumption of the device when it is in standby) is very important for OEMs, as mobile devices tend to be in standby (i.e., in your pocket or on the desk, display off, not being used) a whole lot more than active. A higher static consumption leads to quicker battery drain. QuickLogic is happy to report that our PolarPro 3 silicon platform consumes as little as 50uA of static current, which is half the consumption of its nearest competitor.
- Logic cell architecture is something that many people don’t consider when evaluating programmable logic devices. While we will detail this in much greater detail in a subsequent blog (JASON, GET TO WRITING!!!), QuickLogic has architected the logic cells in the PolarPro 3 to be multi-grained, allowing a much greater logic utilization as compared to competing devices. The means we can implement a whole lot more functionality in the same amount of logic cells, or we can perform the same functions in a much smaller device, saving PCB space, cost, power, etc. Without stealing too much thunder from the later blog, just keep the idea of 200% more in your head…
In keeping with our Catalog CSSP strategy, we’ve also introduced the first standard product based on the PolarPro 3, the Multi-Axis Sensor Data Buffer Catalog CSSP. The Multi-axis device interfaces with multiple sensors located in a mobile device, storing data for a predetermined time, at which point all the data will be sent in a burst to the applications processor. This saves considerable power, as the CSSP’s power consumption is significantly less than what the applications processor would use should it have to remain on to collect all this data.
The release of the PolarPro 3 solution platform broadens QuickLogic’s addressable market in mobile, and we are very excited for the possibilities.