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Freescale's multicore processors to use 16nm FinFET process

Posted: 26 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale  FinFET  multicore processor  Internet of Things  SRAM 

Freescale has announced that its next generation of multicore processors will use 16nm FinFET process technology. Two QorIQ chips, LS1048A and LS1088A, are aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT) networking at the edge, the company's officials indicated.

The latest QorIQ have eight 64bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.5GHz with 2MB or L2 cache and support for DDR4 SRAM. Freescale did not say which fab would manufacture the new process node, but promised 16nm in mid-2016.

"The world's networks are moving and changing faster than ever before, driven by the convergence of extreme virtualisation, software-centric network topologies, continued expansion of the IoT, and growing demand for increased, flexible intelligence at the network's edge," said Tom Deitrich, SVP and GM of Freescale's digital networking group.

There are tens of watts in a single networking SoC, Freescale digital networking manager Stuart Forbes stated, so 16nm technology will provide twice the performance of 28nm with a similar power envelope. As a result, the cores will have improved ARM capabilities and power architecture while being able to support StarCore digital signal processing chips (DSP).

QorIQ also has hardware acceleration in its layer one logic "to include LTE-Advanced capabilities...[and] power benefits," Forbes said. He added that packet and security acceleration are also key components in Freescale's 16nm vision.

Freescale's 16nm platform will be supplemented with operating systems and BSPs from partner networks. The company does not have plans for 10nm technology, and Forbes said the following generation of process technology will not follow mobile trends directly. It will likely be several years before 16nm technology makes it to Freescale MCUs because of difficulties implementing flash and analogue in lower-level technologies.

- Jessica Lipsky
  EE Times

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