July 26, 2018
|By: Christine Young
Blogger, Maxim Integrated
What if you could turn your internet of things (IoT) idea into a working product in just days? That’s the vision of zGlue, a Mountain View, California-based startup that has developed a 2.5D stacked chip integrating the processing, sensing, memory, and communication components required by smart, connected devices. The company’s mission is to democratize innovation, enabling anyone—even if you don’t have an engineering degree—to be able to quickly and easily build a personalized hardware product.
The company’s first product built with its technology, zOrigin, is scheduled to be available on the market later this year. It’s a wearable system featuring the zGlue Integration Platform (ZiP) chip in a 8.7mm x 9.1mm package. The chip contains 6 ICs, one FET, and more than 30 passive components. Its size and content can be customized for any design. While developing a 2.5D chip traditionally takes anywhere from 5 to 18 months, zGlue indicates that it has reduced this time down to weeks.
To create zOrigin, zGlue needed a very low-power, small power-management IC (PMIC) that also supports charging. For this, the company turned to Maxim’s MAX77734, a small, highly integrated, ultra-low-power solution with safe charging and low-noise low-dropout (LDO) linear regulator for hearables and IoT designs. “The MAX77734 is a great chip for managing different power rails in wearables and space-constrained designs,” said Omar Alnaggar, director of Hardware Engineering at zGlue. “We also couldn’t find a single power charger IC in the power path until we evaluated the MAX77734—this enables wearable devices to be used while being charged. And the PMIC’s tiny size meets our requirements.”
zGlue has landed on EE Times’s list of “10 IoT Companies to Watch in 2018.” Notes Rick Merritt, the publication’s Silicon Valley bureau chief: “Advanced packaging is a key accelerator given the slowing pace of Moore’s law in high-end chips, and now it also is becoming a key ally for the IoT. Startup zGlue underlined this opportunity with its trailing-edge interposer with integrated passives. It aims to enable a class of low-power, low cost SoCs with its 3,000 programmable pins and 100-MHz interfaces. Well worth watching.”
zGlue is also attracting attention from CNET, Electronic Design, and TechCrunch. Read the zGlue testimonial for Maxim to see what all the buzz is about.
zGlue is enabling a do-it-yourself chip approach for the IoT