Ambiq Micro was founded in 2010 on the notion that extremely low power semiconductors are the key to the future of electronics. They developed a patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform that dramatically reduces the amount of power consumed by semiconductors. Normal CMOS processes are working with an internal core voltage above the threshold voltage a transistor needs to make a logical low or high decision. Therefore most cores are working at 1.8V or 1.2V depending on the CMOS process. By applying SPOT™ on a standard CMOS process, the internal core voltage can be minimized to 0.5V. While the energy consumption is proportional to the squared voltage, SPOT™ can reduce energy usage by up to 13 times!
Ambig spot - image from wireless headphone from the inside.
Electronic example image


At the heart of the Apollo MCUs family is Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™).

Utilizing SPOT™ the Apollo MCUs deliver the required reduction in energy microcontrollers offer an ARM Cortex-M4F core at power levels that are even lower than competing ARM Cortex- M0+ solutions.

Unrivaled power savings combined with a high-performance processing engine make the Apollo MCUs an ideal solution for battery-powered devices. With an extensive set of features to run enhanced application at an ultra-low power budget.

MCUs Applications

  • Consumer medical devices
  • Consumer electronics
  • Smart watches
  • Smart meters
  • Battery-powered applications
  • Wearable electronics
  • Wireless sensors
  • Activity and fitness monitors
  • Beacons
  • Remote sensing
  • Motion and tracking devices
  • Home automation
  • Light control applications
  • Wireless mice and keyboards
  • Alarms and security system
  • Toys

Company overview


The benefits of SPOT™

Active mode

Ultra-low active mode power consumption

Sleep mode

Ultra-low sleep mode power consumption



Low power

Ultra-low power memory

Low power interface

Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors


Flexible serial peripherals

How it works

SPOT™ Platform

Ambiq Micro is redefining “ultra-low power” with its unique and proprietary Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform. The patented SPOT™ architecture uses transistors biased in the subthreshold region of operation (aka very low voltages) to achieve unmatched energy efficiency.

Breakthrough subthreshold design

Rather than using transistors that are turned all the way “on”, subthreshold circuits use the leakage of “off” transistors to compute in both the digital and analog domains. With most computations handled by using only leakage current, total system power consumption on the order of nanoamps is easily achieved. For example, when compared to a typical circuit operating at 1.8V, a “near-threshold” circuit operating at 0.5V can achieve up to a 13X improvement in dynamic power.

Operation at such low voltages is problematic due to susceptibility to noise, high sensitivity to temperature, and variability due to process drift. In developing the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro has addressed all of these challenges by redesigning every analog and digital circuit in the chip to adapt for the temperature, voltage, and manufacturing variations that are problematic at these voltage levels.

Implemented in Standard CMOS

Despite the comprehensive use of subthreshold voltages in the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro’s products behave just like any other semiconductor device and they are implemented using industry-standard CMOS manufacturing flows. The one difference: dramatically reduced power consumption.

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