June 7, 2011 -- Open-Silicon, Inc. announced today it achieved a key milestone in demonstrating its low-power design capability on GlobalFoundries' 28-nm super low-power (SLP) technology. Utilizing Open-Silicon's PowerMAX and VariMAX low-power design technologies, Open-Silicon successfully taped out an ultra-low power ASIC on GlobalFoundries' 28nm-SLP technology.
In the device, variation and leakage are controlled through the combination of Open-Silicon's body-biasing technology and GlobalFoundries' high-k metal gate (HKMG) process. The low-power, high-gate-density chip is ideal for mobile applications such as smart phones, where power conservation is necessary for battery life and where high-speed processors are critical to the user's application experience.
Designed and developed using Open-Silicon's 28-nm methodology, the new ASIC benefits from Open-Silicon's MAX Technologies including VariMAX for body biasing to manage silicon process variation and provide leakage control. Biasing technologies are common in the standard product space for mobile devices due to their power reduction and process yield benefits, yet rarely offered in the ASIC space. Open-Silicon's VariMAX technology addresses this industry shortfall by offering state-of-the-art biasing control combined with open-market standard cell libraries and a GlobalFoundries reference flow.
Open-Silicon joined GlobalFoundries partner ecosystem, GlobalSolutions, when it was launched in June 2010. The open and collaborative ecosystem leverages the best resources from around the world to deliver optimized solutions. The GlobalSolutions ecosystem partners are evaluated and certified to meet specific service and quality criteria, helping to reduce risk and increase the probability of first-time-right designs.
GlobalFoundries' 28nm-SLP targets low-power applications including cellular base band, application processors, portable consumer and wireless connectivity devices. 28nm-SLP utilizes HKMG and presents the same dense routing of 28nm HP, but is a lower-cost technology in terms of the performance elements utilized to boost carrier mobilities. The 28nm-SLP transistors offer up to 40% increased speed at the same leakage relative to 40nm-LP with a 40% reduction in energy/ switch (at nominal operating voltages of 1.0V for 28nm-SLP and 1.1V for 40nm-LP, and up to a 50% speed increase and power savings with overdrive: 1.1V for 28nm-SLP and 1.2V for 40nm-LP).
"As geometries continue to decrease, technologies like VariMAX and PowerMAX increase in value by providing additional power reduction or variation management that otherwise would be unobtainable. Body-biasing, in particular, was found to be extremely effective when combined with HKMG technology to manage standby-mode leakage. Proving this low-power technology in GlobalFoundries' 28-nm process gives ASIC customers the same state-of-the-art process technology and leakage-reduction methodologies that IC standard product vendors benefit from in mobile products," said Taher Madraswala, Vice President of Engineering, Open-Silicon, Inc.
Go to the Open-Silicon, Inc. website to find additional information.