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August 14, 2012

ARM Taps GLOBALFOUNDRIES for 20-nm and FinFET Technologies

To deliver optimized system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for ARM (News - Alert) processors, the ARM core licensor ARM Holdings has inked a multi-year joint development agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES. As per this deal, future ARM SoC processors will utilize GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 20-nm process and FinFET technologies.

Under this agreement, ARM will develop a full platform of ARM Artisan physical IP, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP IP solutions. According to the partners, it will enable a new level of system performance and power efficiency for a range of mobile devices.

ARM said the two companies have been collaborating for last few years to jointly optimize ARM Cortex-A series processors, including multiple demonstrations of performance and power-efficiency benefits on 28-nm as well as a 20-nm test-chip implementation currently running through GLOBALFOUNDRIES fab in Malta, N.Y.

ARM said this agreement extends the earlier efforts to enable customer designs on 20-nm technology, as well as facilitate rapid migration to 3D FinFET transistor technology. In reality, added ARM, it will speed-up the delivery of next generation ARM based SoC processors, both CPUs and GPUs, for emerging mobile devices.

According to GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the company plans to develop optimized implementations and benchmark analysis for next-generation, energy-efficient ARM Cortex processor and ARM Mali graphics processor technologies. Thus accelerating customers’ own SoC designs using the latest technologies, noted GLOBALFOUNDRIES. 

In a statement, Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, Processor (News - Alert) and Physical IP Divisions at ARM, said, “This early engagement promotes the rapid adoption of ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES technologies in future SoCs for several important markets.” He added, “Customers designing for mobile, tablet and computing applications will benefit extensively from the energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processor included in this collaboration. 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.”

Per GLOBALFOUNDRIES explanation, the 20nm-LPM technology is a comprehensive, cost-effective platform, delivering up to 40 percent performance improvement and twice the gate density of 28-nm process. Since it will offer a range of transistor capabilities, the 20nm-LPM will serve a broad range of power and performance points across high-volume market segments.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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