Sonics Receives New Patent For Intelligent Power Controller

Patent Is Breakthrough for Development of Innovative SoC Power Management Solution

Feb 11, 2014, 08:00 ET from Sonics, Inc.

MILPITAS, Calif., Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonics, Inc., the world's foremost supplier of on-chip network (NoC) technologies and services, today announced the issue of patent 8,601,288 "Intelligent Power Controller" from the US Patent Office. Sonics' "Intelligent Power Controller" patent describes a hardware intellectual property (IP) that forms the foundation for the company's development of innovative power management solutions that solve difficult power distribution and consumption problems in complex system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

"Power management is one of the top priorities for SoC architects addressing both tethered and battery operating requirements of today's mobile and consumer electronics devices," said Ray Brinks, senior vice president of operations at Sonics. "Our comprehensive approach to on-chip power management, based on this patent, enables SoC designers to partition power domains and turn them on and off without software intervention for the most energy efficient chip implementation."

Sonics expects this breakthrough technology to provide up to 50 percent power savings, depending upon the particular SoC implementation. This technology enables SoC developers to:

  • Significantly reduce power consumption by shortening power transition times and eliminating associated CPU overhead.
  • Automatically instantiate and verify distributed power management hardware.

Power savings is attributed to implementation of multiple power domains that enable these sections of the chip to spend more time in low power states without CPU intervention.

Sonics is in the process of validating this new IP in silicon and plans to bring its power management solution to market later this year. These new products and methodology are a natural complement to the SonicsGN™ on-chip interconnect IP, which already provides strong power partitioning capabilities for SoCs.

Key aspects of Sonics' "Intelligent Power Controller" hardware IP patent include:

  • Complements advanced power management techniques in use today: clock gating and frequency scaling, voltage scaling and different voltage domains, power gating with various state retention strategies.
  • Definition and support for an advanced communication protocol between the power controller and functional blocks: status, state and activity, and commands, while still remaining compatible with various existing software methodologies.
  • "Intelligence" that can take decisions without external software support; flexibility to adapt at run time to support different chip operating modes.
  • A programming model that fits existing software standards requirements in this area.
  • A scalable architecture that supports tens or hundreds of clock and power regions without overwhelming the CPU or operating system.
  • An automated integration and complete verification methodology for the power management function both at module level and at top level, and is "good by design."

For more information about Sonics' "Intelligent Power Controller" patent, visit

About Sonics, Inc.
Sonics, Inc., is a pioneer of on-chip network (NoC) technology and was the first company to develop and commercialize on-chip interconnect to accelerate volume production of complex, systems-on-chip (SoC) containing multiple processor cores since 1996. Sonics offers SoC designers a comprehensive portfolio of interconnect technologies that deliver the communication performance required by today's most innovative consumer digital, communications, and information technology devices and electronic products. Sonic's global customers have shipped more than two billion SoCs and the company holds more than 138 patent properties. Sonics is headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., for more information, please visit, and follow us on Twitter at

Contact: Brandi Cook
McClenahan Bruer | 503.546.1010

SOURCE Sonics, Inc.