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ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate to Enable Next-Generation Devices on 20nm and FinFET Process Technologies

13 August 2012

ARM processor, GPU and Physical IP technology-based solutions optimized to accelerate production in critical mobile markets    

MILPITAS, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, UK – 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-nanometer (nm) and FinFET process technologies.  The new agreement also extends the long-standing collaboration to include graphics processors, which are becoming an increasingly critical component in mobile devices. 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 results will help enable a new level of system performance and power-efficiency for a range of mobile applications, from smartphones to tablets to ultra-thin notebooks.  

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 customer designs on 20nm and promote rapid migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology. This joint development will enable a faster time to delivering SoC solutions for customers using next-generation ARM CPUs and GPUs in mobile devices.

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 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, now available for licensing from ARM.  

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

ARM POP technology accelerates the core hardening for ARM’s Cortex-A series CPUs with market-leading performance, power and area.  POP IP products are comprised of 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 floor plans, scripts, design utilities and a POP Implementation Guide, which enables the end customer 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, 20nm-LPM will serve a broad range of power and performance points across high-volume market segments.  By offering a full scaling of the transistor and metal pitch, the resulting 20nm-LPM devices will be highly 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 20nm-LPM.  As a result, this collaboration will result in a range of implementation solutions available sooner and at lower risk than ever before.  

“ARM technologies are at the heart of many of the world’s highest volume product categories, and we believe will only grow in importance for our customers in the years ahead,” said Mike Noonen, executive vice president, worldwide marketing and sales at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “By leveraging our implementation knowledge and applying it to a next-generation, energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processing unit, we believe we can jointly offer a compelling differentiation to our mutual customers that will power innovation into the next two generations.”  

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About ARM

ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. Find out more about ARM by following these links:  

ARM website: http://www.arm.com/
ARM Connected Community®: http://www.arm.com/community/
Mali Developer Center www.malideveloper.com
ARM Blogs: http://blogs.arm.com/
ARMFlix on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/ARMflix
ARM on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ARMMultimedia http://twitter.com/
ARMMobile http://twitter.com/ARMCommunity http://twitter.com/
ARMEmbedded http://twitter.com/ http://twitter.com/KeilTools

About GLOBALFOUNDRIES

GLOBALFOUNDRIES is the world’s first full-service semiconductor foundry with a truly global footprint. Launched in March 2009, the company has quickly achieved scale as the second largest foundry in the world, providing a unique combination of advanced technology and manufacturing to more than 150 customers. With operations in Singapore, Germany and the United States, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is the only foundry that offers the flexibility and security of manufacturing centers spanning three continents. The company’s three 300mm fabs and five 200mm fabs provide the full range of process technologies from mainstream to the leading edge. This global manufacturing footprint is supported by major facilities for research, development and design enablement located near hubs of semiconductor activity in the United States, Europe and Asia. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is owned by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC). For more information, visit http://www.globalfoundries.com

For Press Inquiries Contact:  

Travis Bullard GLOBALFOUNDRIES  (518) 305-9025travis.bullard@globalfoundries.com  

Andy Phillips ARM +44 (0) 1223 400930 andy.phillips@arm.com