LONDON – Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) has announced a so-called POP for its Mali-T600 series graphics processor units. The IP within the Mali POP will be available in January 2013, ARM said.
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A POP is a processor optimization pack, which is an additional piece of support, on top of the licensing of cores, that licensees can pay for, to speed their time to market. ARM has introduced POPs for several of its Cortex-series processors and is now extending the scheme to graphics.
The next POP will be for the implementation of Mali-T628 and Mali-T678 GPUs on the 28-nm HPM manufacturing process technology from foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan).
In essence through the POP ARM shares with licensees lessons learned as it has taken the cores to silicon in R&D. This allows POP users to use this optimized implementation as a starting point, rather like a reference design.
The POP includes standard cell logic and memory cache instances that are tuned to the processor and foundry technology. It documents the 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.
"POP IP for Mali GPUs is not about pre-determined benchmarks, it's about giving our partners greater flexibility by leveraging ARM's holistic approach to explore and find the right optimization customized to the specific end-application," said Pete Hutton, general manager of the media processing division at ARM, in a statement.