ARM and Global Foundries deliver on new ARM Optimized SoC Solution

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014


GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM Deliver Optimized SoC Solution based on ARM Cortex-A Series Processors

14 December 2011

Companies achieve milestones for SoC based on ARM Cortex-A9 processor:

28nm SoC operating at 2.5GHz and tape out of 20nm qualification vehicle

Milpitas, Calif. and Cambridge, U.K. ? December 14, 2011 ? GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM today revealed the latest advances in their longstanding collaboration to deliver optimized system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for ARM® Cortex?-A series processor designs using ARM Artisan® advanced physical IP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES? leading-edge process technologies. The companies announced the industry?s first test chip based on a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor operating at frequencies of more than 2.5GHz. In addition, a 20nm tape out using GLOBALFOUNDRIES? Technology Qualification Vehicle (TQV) was also announced for SoCs based on Cortex-A9 processors.

The two companies worked closely together to develop a TQV strategy that allows GLOBALFOUNDRIES to optimize its advanced process technology for customer designs based on Cortex-A series processors. The solution is more than a standard test chip. Each TQV is designed to emulate a full specification SoC and aims to improve performance, lower power consumption and facilitate a faster path to market for foundry customers.

?Today?s announcement is a clear demonstration that the TQV strategy developed with ARM is paying dividends in our 32/28nm HKMG technology by delivering impressive performance and energy-efficiency,? said Mojy Chian, senior vice president of design enablement, GLOBALFOUNDRIES. ?We continue to work closely with ARM to leverage our TQV strategy as an integral part of 20nm process technology development. This enables our customers to rapidly ramp up their next-generation designs based on ARM Cortex-A series processors to high-volume production.?

?These milestones are proof that the strategic collaboration involving Cortex-A series processors implemented using Artisan advanced physical IP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm process technology is able to deliver leading high-performance, energy-efficient solutions,? said Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, physical IP division, ARM. ?Furthermore, it serves as a foundation for next-generation mobile and high-end consumer devices using 20nm process technology.?

The 2.5GHz performance results are based on multiple wafers running in GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany, on the company?s 28nm high performance technology. An additional performance increase is expected on GLOBALFOUNDRIES? 28nm High Performance Plus (HPP) platform, which is the solution of choice for wired networking applications, with extremely low active power and an operating point of 0.85V.

The 20nm TQV is based on GLOBALFOUNDRIES? next-generation 20nm platform, which is designed to improve performance by up to 35% and nearly halve power consumption when compared to 28nm technologies. The goal of the 20nm TQV is the same as the 28nm TQV: to develop process technology that is optimized for Cortex-A series processors. The early collaboration between GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM will help chip designers address the increasing design and manufacturing complexities of 20nm technology, while reducing time to volume production.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES? SoC design platforms are all based on the company?s production-proven 32/28nm HKMG technology and are fully enabled with ARM standard cell libraries, memory compilers and IP from a variety of third party providers.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I rather see them forever behind with regards to performance per watt! The only way Intel will ever catch up would be to strip ATOM of all legacy hardware and features and produce a very low power 64 but only solution.

    Now instead of producing test vehicles for other manufactures to base their SoC on, Global needs to go into the SoC business big time. What the ARM world really needs is a standard solution that becomes a high volume product that many vendors can look to. Most potential users just aren't flush with money like Apple. Sadly it looks like NVidia is more or less blowing it's opportunity, TIs efforts seem to be halfhearted and Freescale seems to be uninterested. In any event I think this explains why ARM personnel have been showing up at AMD conferences.

    Now the thing that sucks here is the lack of any mention of power levels when running the cores at 2.5 GHz. One could hope that that is still around the 500 milliwatt level for each core. If so just imagine an iPad built around one of these processors. Combined with an equal advance in the GPU and worries about retina screen performance just go away. The idea that such a platform is only a short time away could lead to a brain hemorrhage just thinking about it.

    it is also interesting to note that Samsung belongs to the same alliance that Global foundries is part of. Samsungs new plant should be capable of fabrication at the 28 nm node, so if Apple is ready to make the jump we could see a big performance bump for iPad 3. That might be pushing it just a bit but still it makes one wonder just what will be in A6. If Global gets its act together this might mean they could also second source for Apple, just incase demand outstrips Sammy's shinny new plant.

    Thanks for the post!

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

    Source: deleted source.

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