Sign In
Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

Minima Prosessor

​​​Jani Mäkipää is the Chairman of the Board and Product Manager of VTT's new spin-off, Minima Processor.​

Minima Processor LTD – World record in energy efficiency accelerates development of IoT

Paula Bergqvist | 8.12.2016

​Minima Processor is releasing a solution to the market that has broken the world record for energy efficiency. The new technology increases the energy efficiency of digital information 
processing by five to ten times 
– or even 20 times in extreme cases. 

The IoT devices now on the markets are not as small and efficient as everyone would like. This is due to their power consumption, which needs to fall to a tenth or less of its current level. 

 
– There is no equivalent technology on the market. Other companies are aiming at ultra-low power consumption in digital computing, but our approach is quite different and better, says Jani Mäkipää from Minima Processor.

 
It involves minimum energy point operation. The minimum energy point is the operating voltage at which a single command consumes the least energy in relative terms. Minima Processor stands out from its competitors in how it reaches this point.

 
Reaching the minimum energy point is laborious and time consuming – in other words, expensive – via legacy design methods. With Minima, the idea is that circuit operation seeks the correct operating point automatically, rather than through manual tuning.
At best, a single assignment takes only around two to three months.

 
Mäkipää compares Minima’s technology to air travel:

 
– Imagine being able to travel around the world with no need for stopovers or transfer time between planes – you just keep flying onwards despite changing planes. Minima offers a similar approach when accelerating the operations of digital microcircuits and thereby reducing power consumption. 

 
– The problems facing electronic devices can also be solved using more powerful batteries and resource-efficient software. Improved circuit technology is the starting point for our solution, which is the first genuinely new circuit-based approach of this century for digital computing, Mäkipää says.

 
The solution is compatible with legacy energy-
saving technologies and digital computing. This gives it major marketing potential.

 
mäkipää minima02.jpg
 

 

A multi-actor project

Jani Mäkipää is the Chairman of the Board and Product Manager of VTT’s new spin-off, Minima Processor. He joined the company during its start-up phase last spring, leaving his post as a Senior Research Scientist at VTT. Since 2008 he has focused on ultra-low power digital processing. 

 
– At VTT, I researched computing in the areas of neural computing and the threshold voltage. This didn’t lead to anything bigger. In 2007, with Lauri Koskinen of Aalto University, I began to wonder about digital computing based on ultra-low operating voltages. We had similar ideas and research between VTT and Aalto University began in an Academy of Finland project in 2008–2010. This led to follow-up projects, with the University of Turku joining us in 2013. The idea was awarded TUTL funding from Tekes in 2015–2016, says Mäkipää.

 
Toni Soini, the CEO of Minima, joined the project during the TUTL phase. He has twenty years of experience of industry at companies such as Nokia. 

 
– We held discussions with over 20 international companies during the TUTL project. Funding agencies quickly became interested in the technology, as well as the customer interface. The project was entirely successful and we decided to found a company, Soini says.

 

Reduced energy consumption 
brings new developments

Minima’s computing technology can be used in wearable electronics, smart watches, hearing aids, sports equipment and other state-of-the-art IoT devices. Lower power consumption can have a number of indirect effects.

 
– A service engineer will change the battery in a control unit twice a year, but Minima enables the extension of service intervals to two years, saving on costs. In addition, smaller batteries could have a beneficial effect on price, design, recycling costs and how a device feels in the hand: nice and cool rather than hot, comments Mäkipää.

 
Mobile phones have dominated the semiconductor industry in the last 15 years. 

 
– But future growth in the sector will be based on IoT devices. It has been estimated that IoT devices will outnumber mobile phones by a ratio of five to one in 2020. Increasingly amazing devices enabled by digitalisation, growing processing power and falling power consumption are on their way, says Toni Soini. 

 
How does the future of IoT look?

 
– IoT is not the future – it has already been with us for a long time. Progress has accelerated in recent years and is set to continue at high speed. The problem with current devices is that they consume too much energy and have limited battery life. Their functionality is limited due to lack of power, Mäkipää comments.

 
– IoT is a key market for Minima Processor – the firm will bring additional features and operating time to devices.  

 

 

Minima Processor Oy

  • Established in April 2016.
  • Offices in Espoo and Oulu.
  • Its patented technology is based on optimising the operating point of microcircuit.
  • Organisations involved in developing the technology: VTT, Aalto University and the University of Turku.
  • Funding providers: CFT Nordic Capital, VTT Ventures Ltd, Aalto University and two private investors.

​​

 

 

VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseVTT Impulse
Digital societyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digital-society.aspxDigital society
Low carbon energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Low-carbon-energy.aspxLow carbon energy
Business developmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-development.aspxBusiness development
Smart Citieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Smart-Cities.aspxSmart Cities
Health and wellbeinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-and-wellbeing.aspxHealth and wellbeing
What and how will people eat in the future?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/What-and-how-will-people-eat-in-the-future.aspxWhat and how will people eat in the future?
Recycling of critical metalshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Recycling-of-critical-metals.aspxRecycling of critical metals
Towards patient-centred, personalised healthcarehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-patient-centred-personalised-healthcare.aspxTowards patient-centred, personalised healthcare
Bio-based carbon dioxide to be recycled in Nokiahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Bio-based-carbon-dioxide-to-be-recycled-in-Nokia.aspxBio-based carbon dioxide to be recycled in Nokia
Jaakko Eskola: ”The ability to reinvent yourself is vital to success.”https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/”The-ability-to-reinvent-yourself-is-vital-to-success”.aspxJaakko Eskola: ”The ability to reinvent yourself is vital to success.”
A better world based on positive energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-better-world-based-on-positive-energy.aspxA better world based on positive energy
Advancing cyber security on several frontshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Advancing-cyber-security-on-several-fronts.aspxAdvancing cyber security on several fronts
Are environmental claims believable?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Are-environmental-claims-believable.aspxAre environmental claims believable?
Matti Apunen: At the core of the solutionhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-core-of-the-solution.aspxMatti Apunen: At the core of the solution
Automation gives packages wingshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Automation-gives-packages-wings.aspxAutomation gives packages wings
Before information gets lost in numbershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Before-information-gets-lost-in-numbers.aspxBefore information gets lost in numbers
Business angel speaks out: Growth from the international arenahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-angel-speaks-out-Growth-from-the-international-arena.aspxBusiness angel speaks out: Growth from the international arena
Clearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technologyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Clearing-the-way-for-new-materials-with-ChemSheet-technology.aspxClearing the way for new materials with ChemSheet technology
Controlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materialshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Controlling-friction-and-greenhouse-emissions-by-digitalising-materials.aspxControlling friction and greenhouse emissions by digitalising materials
Developers of the futurehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Developers-of-the-future.aspxDevelopers of the future
Food in transitionhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Food-in-transition.aspxFood in transition
From a fishing port to a model district for smart energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-a-fishing-port-to-a-model-district-for-smart-energy.aspxFrom a fishing port to a model district for smart energy
From ideas to major innovationshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-drawing-board-to-major-innovation.aspxFrom ideas to major innovations
Health benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food qualityhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-benefits-and-efficiency-without-sacrificing-food-quality.aspxHealth benefits and efficiency without sacrificing food quality
Intelligence for machineshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligence-for-machines.aspxIntelligence for machines
Intelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exportshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligent-transport-a-trump-card-for-Finnish-exports.aspxIntelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exports
More speed to network services with 5Ghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/More-speed-to-network-services-with-5G.aspxMore speed to network services with 5G
Petri Kalliokoski: Artificial intelligence moves from words to deedshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Petri-Kalliokoski-Artificial-intelligence-moves-from-words-to-deeds.aspxPetri Kalliokoski: Artificial intelligence moves from words to deeds
Plasma treatment spurs material developmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Plasma-treatment-spurs-material-development.aspxPlasma treatment spurs material development
Research with impacthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Research-with-impact.aspxResearch with impact
Same old routine for the next 100 yearshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Same-old-routine-for-the-next-100-years.aspxSame old routine for the next 100 years
Taking the bioeconomy to a new level through digitalisationhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Taking-the-bioeconomy-to-a-new-level-through-digitalisation.aspxTaking the bioeconomy to a new level through digitalisation
Finland provides community housing solutions for Namibiahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-provides-community-housing-solutions-for-Namibia.aspxFinland provides community housing solutions for Namibia
Challenges conceal opportunitieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Challenges-conceal-opportunities.aspxChallenges conceal opportunities
We must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/We-must-maintain-Finland-as-an-attractive-target-for-investment.aspxWe must maintain Finland as an attractive target for investment
Using nuclear power to mitigate climate changehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-nuclear-power-to-mitigate-climate-change.aspxUsing nuclear power to mitigate climate change
Hybrid methods offer new solutions for metals recyclinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Hybrid-methods-offer-new-solutions-for-metals-recycling.aspxHybrid methods offer new solutions for metals recycling
Impulse 1/2016https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Impulse-1-2016.aspxImpulse 1/2016
The future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Ouluhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-future-5G-network-proceeds-to-test-phase-in-Oulu.aspxThe future 5G network proceeds to test phase in Oulu
Towards bioeconomy with the power of woodhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-bioeconomy-with-the-power-of-wood.aspxTowards bioeconomy with the power of wood
Transport gets smarthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Transport-gets-smart.aspxTransport gets smart
A machine is more humanehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-machine-is-more-humane.aspxA machine is more humane
Digitalisation in closing the gaphttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digitalisation-in-closing-the-gap.aspxDigitalisation in closing the gap
Cell screening leads to new cancer treatmentshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cell-screening-leads-to-new-cancer-treatments.aspxCell screening leads to new cancer treatments
Pekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pekka-Soini’s-Business-Finland-is-an-internationalisation-channel-for-companies.aspxPekka Soini’s Business Finland is an "internationalisation channel" for companies
Finland is good investmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-is-good-investment.aspxFinland is good investment
Sensor of tomorrowhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sensor-of-tomorrow.aspxSensor of tomorrow
An export product tougher than nailshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/An-export-product-tougher-than-nails.aspxAn export product tougher than nails
At the digital forefront of mininghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-digital-forefront-of-mining.aspxAt the digital forefront of mining