Industry giant Toshiba announced the development of a technology which promises a substantial cut in embedded SRAM power consumption. Ideal applications include smartphones, tablets and mp3 players -- essentially any portable device with a reliance on high-performance system memory, where the technology may be used to save significant amounts of battery power.
Toshiba claims embedded memory modules could have their power usage cut by 27 percent, while a device equipped with its power-saving invention is in operation. While in standby, the technology promises to shave off a whopping 85 percent of memory chip power consumption.
Interestingly, the advancement doesn't rely on a SRAM redesign or a new memory type; rather, the technology employs a few circuit changes which add temperature sensitivity, predictive capabilities and dynamically adjust memory performance accordingly. Toshiba is essentially using "smarter" circuitry to lower power consumption.
Toshiba's new technology applies a BLPC and DCRC. The BLPC predicts power consumption of bit lines by using replicated bit lines to monitor the frequency of the ring oscillator. It minimizes the active power of the SRAM in certain conditions by monitoring the current consumption of the SRAM rest circuits. The DCRC greatly decreases standby power in the retention circuit by periodically activating itself to update the size of the buffer of the retention driver.
It's unclear exactly how much impact RAM has on power consumption in smartphones or other portable electronics; however, Engadget presumes RAM is one of the principal drains on a smartphone's battery. Due to RAM's volatile nature, even when your device is locked and the screen is off, its memory must remain constantly powered or the host device will cease to operate -- well, until a subsequent restart, at least. No doubt, this need hastens a smartphone or tablet battery's demise, even as it idles on someone's coffee table, untouched and locked.
Additionally, the greater amount of RAM -- the greater amount of power is consumed. Toshiba's advancement may be one way manufacturers can compensate for growing onboard memory sizes of 2GB and beyond, alongside possible future die-shrinks and other novel memory technologies.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Nexus 4 is Google’s flagship handset that shipped along Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 4 packs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, dual cameras (1.3MP front, 8.0MP back), and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. Google also baked in NFC support and wireless charging.
The Nexus 10 is Google's rival of the full-size Apple's iPad. It is manufactured by Samsung and is powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 chip, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2. The Nexus packs a 10" screen at 2560 x 1600 resolution (300ppi). Other features include microUSB, Micro HDMI and not one but two NFC chips.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: