Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MaxiMem (Dramatic hardware and energy savings in computer servers by doubling memory capacity and bandwidth using novel general-purpose compression)
Reporting period: 2021-05-01 to 2021-10-31
Before licensing an IP block, customers need to know how well it will work for a specific application in their particular architecture. This generally means implementing it in a demo chip at high upfront cost. This is a key technological and cost barrier to innovation in this industry.
To mitigate this risk, and turn it into an opportunity, we have created a suite of tools that allow for detailed parameter testing under different simulated conditions. These tools show the benefits of our solution in a specific customer’s system.
The main objective of the MaxiMem project was to develop business-enabling tools that support the Ziptilion™ technology going to the market.
The sales process in the semiconductor industry requires demonstrations that can realistically model benefits to be gained in the customer's specific architecture/system from IP implementation on a chip.
In the MaxiMem project we have aimed to develop a set of simulation tools to serve this purpose. These tools include:
1) compression analysis tools,
2) memory management tools and
3) architectural simulator tools.
The conclusion now closing the project is that it has been a very successful business enablement project to ZeroPoint Technologies.
In the frame of this project we have had the opportunity to develop tools that radically shorten the time from interest to decision to customers. Over the course of the project we have worked closely together with customers to refine the tools, and build a commercial platform that has been extremely valuable in commercial evaluations, conversations and negotiations.
Based on customer evaluations, conversations and negotiations we have successfully won two contracts; one in Server segment and one in Smart Device segment.
Further to these accomplishments we have been able to strengthen our IPR portfolio substantially. During the course of the project we have filed 22 patent applications, and in the same time we have been granted 12 patents, building significant value into the company.
Activity: Development and integration of a suite of tools for compression analysis, memory management emulation and architecture/system simulation.
Outcome and results: All 3 families of business enabling tools, with libraries, interfaces, and other components, fully developed, integrated and quality tested with several customers.
Activity: Demonstrate the value and benefits of MaxiMem for at least 3 potential customers, using the new tools in up to three business interaction phases. Collect data, parameters and hardware and software configuration information.
Outcome and results: More than 3 successful demonstrations completed. Commercial agreements signed with 2 customers.
Activity: Configuration of our IP block and software to fit customer requirements. Product ready for integration.
Outcome and results: Configuration work completed in the architectural simulator, consistent with the customer SoC architecture. Project results fully protected. Applications made for 3 new patent families.
Activity: Preparation for commercialization:
Outcome and results: Strategic communications made at 10 conferences and through Web and LinkedIn channels; Contract templates, Price model and Investor-ready business plan ready.
Exploitation and Dissemination
The purpose of the dissemination activities in the project has been to:
• Raise awareness – Develop a high visibility for the MaxiMem project
• Promote – Inform all interested communities about the MaxiMem project and the Ziptilion™ concept
• Inform – Make the outcomes developed through the MaxiMem project available to the different target audiences
• Engage – Motivate the MaxiMem target audiences to provide inputs and feedback
Summarizing the overall dissemination activities:
• 50+ customer meetings
• 10 Conferences
• 3 Awards for innovative company and technology
• 1 International video interview and 1 international written interview
• 1 press release (€2.5M funding) that attracted significant national and international media coverage
The effect of the dissemination is that we today have proof that ZeroPoint is starting to become known in the domain of main memory compression expertise. This we know because there have been 5 different customers finding their way themselves to our public mailbox (email@example.com) requesting meetings to discuss our technology. One of these discussions led to a compression licensing contract.
Furthermore, the quality and effectiveness of the Investor Ready Business Plan can be quantified in the successful fund raising of €2.5M in Q3-2021.
However, the ultimate goal of ZeroPoint Technologies is to become the provider of the standard memory controller technology utilized in the mainstream Server, Personal Computer and Tablet market.
We appreciate that the technology that we are launching has the capability of becoming a new world standard how to put unused main memory to work, these are rather high set targets. But once our customers have successfully launched their products on the market, it will be evident that systems with main memory compression delivers significantly more performance per watt to competition, and that is all that counts. The effect is that we will have succeeded in setting a new world standard of efficient main memory handling. Something that was unheard of before ZeroPoint’s technology hit the market.
Why is this important one might ask? Well, it so turns out that the facts that we had when we defined this project were indicating a need for this technology, and we could define the greater impact of the project:
• Cost savings, up to 25% of total hardware costs for server manufacturers;
• potentially halve current energy expenditure for DRAM memories;
The conclusion now closing the project is that it has been a very successful business enablement project to ZeroPoint Technologies. In the frame of this project we have had the opportunity to develop tools that radically shorten the time from interest to decision to customers. Over the course of the project we have worked closely together with customers to refine the tools, and build a commercial platform that has been extremely valuable in commercial conversations and negotiations. This is all very good, but the most important effect of this project is that we have been able to win customer contracts and start deploying our technology. We are now on the way to establish a new, and more efficient, main memory handling standard. ZeroPoint’s main memory compression technology is delivering up to 50% more performance per watt. And that is great performance, good for the economy and fantastic to the environment.