MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif--ARM Holdings plc. and Globalfoundries Inc. have announced the tape out of a 20nm chip and have demoed a Cortex-A9 SoC operating at more than 2.5GHz on 28nm technology.
Globalfoundries said the tape out was a milestone for its Technology Qualification Vehicle (TQV), which it has worked closely on with ARM, and that it was “more than a standard test chip.”
TQV is what Globalfoundries is calling a strategy to develop process technology specifically optimized for ARM Cortex-A series processors.
The fab said each TQV was designed to emulate a full specification SoC and aimed to improve performance, lower power consumption and facilitate a faster path to market for its customers.
Mojy Chian, senior vice president of design enablement at Globalfoundries said it was clear the firm’s TQV strategy was “paying dividends” at 32-nm and 28-nm HKMG technology by delivering on its goals for performance and energy efficiency.
Chian added that the fab would continue to work closely with ARM on TQV “as an integral part of 20nm process technology development” allowing customers to ramp more rapidly to next-generation designs based on ARM Cortex-A series processors in high-volume production.
Globalfoundries has said its 20-nm platform is designed to improve performance by up to 35 percent and almost halve power consumption compared with its 28nm technologies.
As to the firm’s 2.5GHz performance on 28-nm, Globalfoundries said the result had been achieved at the company’s Dresden, Germany fab on its high performance offerings. A further performance increase is expected on the firm’s 28nm High Performance Plus (HPP) platform targeted at the wired networking applications market, owing to its low active power and an operating point of 0.85V.
Analysts have said the announcement is a positive sign from Globalfoundries in a year that has been both difficult and turbulent for the firm.
“It’s a good proof point that they are moving forward for other customers, but they still need to answer the doubts about being able to handle their existing issues with existing customers,” said InStat’s Jim McGregor.
This is good news but I remember something on this topic mentioned previously as well, I think at the GloFo's Technology Conference earlier this year.
I suppose it is too early to talk about yields?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.