SANTA CLARA, Calif.–During the inaugural Global Technology Conference here Tuesday (Sept. 1), GlobalFoundries Inc. said that it plans to get a jump on the 28-nm process era. In doing so, it has made good on its previous promise and taped-out a qualification vehicle based on ARM's Cortex-A9 dual processor.
The foundry upstart claims that this is the industry's first device on a 28-nm process and based on a high-k/metal-gate technology. This so-called ''Technology Qualification Vehicle'' (TQV) will allow the foundry to optimize its 28-nm process for customer designs, said Gregg Barlett, senior vice president of technology and R&D for GlobalFoundries, during a keynote.
The jointly developed TQV reached the tapeout stage in August at GlobalFoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany. It was a part of a collaboration with ARM announced last year. Silicon results are expected back from the fab in late 2010.
The TQV design uses an ARM Cortex-A9 physical IP suite, including a range of standard cell libraries, high-speed cache memory macros for L1 and density-optimized memories. It is designed to emulate a product-like, system-on-chip (SoC).
The TQV will be based on GlobalFoundries' 28-nm High Performance (HP) technology targeted at high-performance wired applications. The technology features a ''gate first'' high-k technology.
GlobalFoundries and ARM first unveiled the details of their SoC platform technology in Q3 2009. The companies project the new chip manufacturing platform will enable a 40 percent increase in computing performance, a 30 percent decrease in power consumption, and a 100 percent increase in standby battery life when compared to the 40-nm technology generation.
Last year, Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co. agreed to acquire Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. for a total of $3.9 billion, continuing its expansion into the contract wafer production business.
Chartered will be folded into GlobalFoundries, the former manufacturing division of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. floated as a separate entity by ATIC. GlobalFoundries was officially formed in 2009. ATIC and AMD injected funds into the company under a joint venture deal with the microprocessor and graphics IC vendor.
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