Fujitsu starts pumping out chips with SuVolta’s low power tech

Chip startup SuVolta has convinced Fujitsu that its low power technology is important enough for Fujitsu to use it in high volume production on one of its chips. Seven-year-old startup SuVolta announced late Tuesday that it’s scored its first licensing deal for its energy efficient chip tech with Fujitsu for an image processing chip.

SuVolta has developed a process that, when used to manufacture chips,¬†helps them conserve power. As Stacey Higginbotham described it, the company tweaks the chemicals that are layered on a chip during its creation, and SuVolta calls this its Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) process. In some chips, like for its ARM partnership, the DDC tech can cut power consumption by 50 percent. Chip giants also like the tech because it uses existing manufacturing tools already in place at many of the chip manufacturing plants, so it’s a relatively low-cost method to reduce energy consumption, compared to other technologies.

SuVoltaFor Fujitsu’s chip — the MB86S22AA Milbeaut image processing chip — the DDC tech can cut power consumption by 30 percent, but it can still have twice the processing performance of comparable chips. Fujitsu and SuVolta have been working together since the Summer of 2011.

SuVolta is backed by Bright Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Northgate Capital and DAG Ventures, and the company raised a $17.2 million round early last year.

As more and more devices go mobile, chip energy efficiency will become increasingly important.