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August 15, 2012

ARM, GlobalFoundries collaborate to develop next-gen chips

ARM will develop a full platform of ARM Artisan Physical IP, which includes standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP IP applications

By CBR Staff Writer

Chip designer ARM and computer chip-maker GlobalFoundries have signed an agreement to jointly develop next-generation chips.

Under the multi-year agreement both the companies will develop an optimised system-on-chip (SoC) application for design ARM processors for GlobalFoundries’ 20-nm and FinFET process technologies.

The new agreement will also extend their collaboration to include graphics processors, which are key elements in mobile devices.

Under the agreement, ARM will develop a platform of ARM Artisan Physical IP, which includes standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP IP applications.

The new platform will offer improved system performance and power-efficiency for mobile applications, from smartphones to tablets to ultra-thin notebooks, ARM said.

ARM Processor and Physical IP Divisions executive vice president and general manager Simon Segars said the early engagement promotes the rapid adoption of ARM and GlobalFoundries technologies in future SoCs for several important markets.

"Customers designing for mobile, tablet and computing applications will benefit extensively from the energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processor included in this collaboration," Segars said. "By proactively working together to enable next-generation 20nm-LPM and FinFET process technologies, our mutual customers can be assured a range of implementation options that will enable two more generations of advanced semiconductor devices."

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The new agreement between both the companies extends the prior collaboration for production of IP platforms that will enable customer designs on 20nm and promote rapid migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology.

The joint development will speed up delivery of SoC application to customers using next-generation ARM CPUs and GPUs in mobile devices.

GlobalFoundries plans to develop improved benchmark analysis and implementations for advanced ARM Mali graphic processor and ARM Cortex processor technologies, accelerating customers’ own system-on-chip designs utilising the respective technologies.

The platform of ARM Artisan Physical 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 28nm SLP.

ARM POP technology accelerates the core hardening for ARM’s Cortex-A series CPUs with performance, power and area. The GlobalFoundries 20nm-LPM technology delivers up to 40% performance improvement and twice the gate density of 28nm, the company claims.

The ARM and GlobalFoundries collaboration also extends to GlobalFoundries’ FinFET-based process technology.

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