How FD-SOI Gives NXP’s i.MX7ULP a “Power-Sipping IoT Budget” (Embedded Systems Engineering)


Here’s why the embedded community should care whether the chips they use are built on FD-SOI. FD-SOI has “…dramatically improved the landscape for power efficiency,” NXP VP Joe Yu explains in a recent Embedded Systems Engineering piece (you can read it here). He gets into the hows and whys of the i.MX7ULP chip design, taking a deep dive into the things that the embedded folks really care about.

He details how FD-SOI decreases leakage and dynamic power, including the roles played by forward and reverse body biasing. He then goes on to explain why it’s better for analog, and how it prevents latch-up.

FD-SOI enables new features, too, he points out, like ultra-low power consumption and deep sleep suspend. And perhaps most importantly, he explains how bursty high-performance and ultra energy efficiency are dynamically traded off on an as-needed basis. “Engineers no longer face a forced selection: low-power processor or high-performance processor,” he say. “Rather, the selection for performance or power efficiency can be made instantaneously, as needed, without having to reconfigure.”

All of this plus the rich graphics and user interface FD-SOI enables makes the i.MX 7ULP perfect for “…IoT edge devices, as well as smart home controls, building automation, portable patient monitoring, wearables, and portable scanners.”

This is an excellent read: highly recommended.

Of course, ASN covered the i.mX7ULP when it was first announced (on Samsung’s 28nm FD-SOI) last year – you can still read our coverage here. But it’s good to see the company explaining to their customers how FD-SOI will change the way they build products. BTW, you can get all the i.MX7ULP product details on the NXP website here. NXP has also put together a nifty video on the i.MX7ULP – see it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *