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GlobalFoundries reveals 28nm process for ARM

Posted on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 13:10:00 CET by

GlobalFoundries and ARM unveiled new details about a new SoC manufacturing platform technology that is projected to enable a 40 percent increase in computing performance, a 30 percent decrease in power consumption, and a 100 percent increase in standby battery life. The platform includes a 28nm super low power (SLP) process for mobile and consumer applications and a 28nm high performance (HP) process for applications requiring maximum performance.
"The success of the next generation of mobile products will be increasingly dependent on their ability to deliver PC-class performance, a highly integrated rich media experience and longer battery life," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES chief operating officer Chia Song Hwee. "These demands are going to require a strong technology foundation and close collaboration between industry leaders to enable an increasing number of design companies to unlock this innovation. We are working closely with ARM to optimize the physical IP and implementation of the Cortex-A9 processor with our proven manufacturing experience in high-volume, advanced technology products, to deliver a fully integrated platform for leading-edge wireless products and applications."

The ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES SoC platform is based on the ARM Cortex- A9 processor, optimized ARM physical IP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28nm Gate-First High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process. Together, ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES will enable manufacturers of embedded devices such as smartphones, smartbooks, tablets and more to address increasing design and manufacturing complexities while reducing time to volume production at mature yields. GLOBALFOUNDRIES expects to start production on these next-generation technologies in 2H 2010 at Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany.

As the market for "smart" mobile products continues to accelerate there is a clear need for increased performance to enable continued innovation in mobile applications. GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28nm process with Gate-First HKMG technology provides significant performance gains over the previous generation 40/45nm technologies. Current estimates show 28nm with HKMG will provide approximately 40 percent higher performance within the same thermal envelope, delivering improved application performance and enriched multi-tasking capabilities on mobile devices. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is well positioned to bring this technology to market rapidly while offering customers the benefits of the widely adopted Gate-First approach to HKMG. The Gate-First approach enjoys broad industry support from many of the world's largest IDMs and fabless design companies.

Also, improvements in power efficiency are necessary with each new technology generation to deliver longer talk/standby time, multimedia playback and interactive gaming and graphics. The combined benefits of ARM IP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm HKMG process enables up to a 30 percent reduction of power consumption and 100 percent increase in standby battery life compared to 40/45nm.

"The transition to the 28nm technology node will be an important inflection point for wireless technology," said ARM president Tudor Brown. "Our collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES will enable customers to rapidly bring high-performance, low-power ARM technology-based designs to market on a 28nm HKMG technology that is ready for high-volume implementation. The combination of GLOBALFOUNDRIES technology, our leading physical IP solutions, and the full internet capabilities delivered by ARM processors results in a powerful integration of processing, graphics and power efficiency."

GLOBALFOUNDRIES is the leading foundry with experience in manufacturing high-performance integrated processors using HKMG technology. This experience will give customers at 28nm an industry-leading time-to-volume capability on this new technology.

In addition to the partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM has established strategic relationships with other members of the IBM Joint Development Alliance to enable the development of optimized processor and physical IP tuned to the HKMG process. ARM will be showcasing the first 28nm wafer with HKMG technology at Mobile World Congress demonstrating the advantages of early enablement with their foundry partners to accelerate the migration to advanced node design in next generation SoCs.



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