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ARM, Globalfoundries work on next-gen mobile MPUs

Posted: 05 Jun 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:POP technology  mobile processors  28nm-SLP  HKMG process 

Just in time of the announcement of ARM Holdings plc's ARM Cortex-A12 processor, ARM together with Globalfoundries also revealed new POP technology for Globalfoundries' 28nm-SLP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. The POP technology offers optimised power and performance features with less costs.

The Cortex-A12 processor was introduced by ARM as part of a suite of IP targeting the rapidly growing market for mid-range mobile devices.

The companies will combine ARMs next-generation mobile processor and POP IP with Globalfoundries' 28nm-SLP HKMG process solution, enabling a new level of system performance and power efficiency with the optimum economics necessary to serve the mid-range mobile device market. The new initiative builds on the existing robust ARM Artisan physical IP platform and POP IP for the Cortex-A9 processor already available on Globalfoundries' 28nm-SLP.

Central to this increase in functionality for mid-range mobile devices is the new ARM Cortex-A12 processor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides a 40 per cent performance uplift and direct upgrade path from the incredibly successful Cortex-A9 processor, while matching the energy efficiency of its predecessor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides best-in-class efficiency as a stand-alone solution, but additionally supports the innovative big.LITTLE processing technology with the Cortex-A7 processor, bringing this energy-efficient technology to the mid-range. Globalfoundries' 28nm-SLP process technology and associated ARM POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor enables up to70 per cent higher performance (measured single-thread performance) and up to 2x better power efficiency in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor using 40nm process technology. Designers can achieve even higher performance by trading off for lower power efficiency, depending on their application needs.

The newest POP technology enables customers to accelerate core-hardening of Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors on the 28nm-SLP HKMG process.

Globalfoundries' next-generation 14nm-XM FinFET technology is expected to bring another dimension of enhanced power, performance and area for ARM mobile processors, the company said. A Cortex-A9 processor implemented on 14nm-XM technology, using 9-track libraries, is projected to enable a greater than 60 per cent increase in frequency at constant power, or a decrease of more than 60 per cent in power consumption at constant performance, when compared to implementation on 28nm-SLP technology using 12-track libraries. Similar results are expected for Cortex-A12 processor implementations.

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