August 13, 2012 -- GlobalFoundries and ARM today announced a multi-year agreement to jointly deliver optimized system-on-chip (SOC) solutions for ARM processor designs on GlobalFoundries' 20-nm and FinFET process technologies. The new agreement also extends the long-standing collaboration to include graphics processors. As part of the agreement, ARM will develop a full platform of ARM Artisan Physical IP, including standard-cell libraries, memory compilers and POP IP solutions.
The companies have been collaborating for several years to jointly optimize ARM Cortex-A series processors, including multiple demonstrations of performance and power-efficiency benefits on 28nm as well as a 20nm test-chip implementation currently running through GlobalFoundries fab in Malta, N.Y. This agreement extends the prior efforts by driving production-IP platforms that will enable designs on 20nm and promote rapid migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology.
GlobalFoundries plans to develop optimized implementations and benchmark analysis for next-generation, energy-efficient ARM Cortex processor and ARM Mali graphics processor technologies, accelerating customers' own SOC designs using the respective technologies. The comprehensive platform of ARM Artisan pPhysical IP for GlobalFoundries' 20nm-LPM and FinFET processes and POP IP products provide fundamental building blocks for SOC designers. This platform builds on the existing Artisan physical IP platforms for numerous GlobalFoundries' process technologies including 65nm, 55nm and 28nm, as well as the Cortex-A9 POP technology for 28-nm SLP, now available for licensing from ARM.
ARM POP technology accelerates the core hardening for ARM's Cortex-A series CPUs with market-leading performance, power and area. POP IP products comprise three critical elements necessary to achieve an optimized ARM core implementation. First, it contains Artisan physical IP standard-cell libraries and memory-cache instances that are specifically tuned for a given ARM processor and foundry technology. Second, it includes a comprehensive benchmarking report to document the exact conditions and results ARM achieved for the processor implementation across an envelope of configuration and design targets. Finally, it includes the detailed implementation knowledge including floorplans, scripts, design utilities and a POP Implementation Guide, which enable companies to achieve similar results quickly and with lower risk.
The GlobalFoundries 20nm-LPM technology is a comprehensive, cost-effective platform, delivering up to 40% performance improvement and twice the gate density of 28nm. Since it will offer a range of transistor capabilities, 20-nm LPM will serve a range of power and performance points across high-volume market segments. By offering a full scaling of the transistor and metal pitch, the resulting 20-nm LPM devices will be competitive in cost and area to suit the requirements of next-generation devices.
This collaboration also extends to GlobalFoundries' FinFET-based process technology. By anticipating this process technology from the beginning, the partners will jointly optimize both the physical IP and process technology to assure a rapid migration path from 20-nm LPM. As a result, this collaboration will result in a range of implementation solutions available sooner and at lower risk than ever before.
Posted by: John Miklosz
Go to the ARM website to find additional information.