ARM and fabrication firm Globalfoundries are working together to deliver ARM processors manufactured using a 20nm process technology, a move intended to take ARM chips to the next level of system performance and power efficiency for tablet and smartphone designs.
The two firms have already been collaborating to jointly optimise ARM's Cortex A series application processors, but the latest announcement extends this to enable Globalfoundries' chip customers to produce 20nm system-on-chip (SoC) designs and speed migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology.
ARM will offer its Artisan library of standard cells, logic and memory components to help implement SoC designs, while Globalfoundries said it will develop optimised implementations and benchmark analysis based around next-generation ARM Cortex processors, to accelerate customer designs.
The new initiative will also include ARM's Mali graphics technology, as graphics processors (GPUs) are becoming an increasingly critical component in mobile devices, the two firms said.
"Customers designing for mobile, tablet and computing applications will benefit extensively from the energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processor included in this collaboration," said Simon Segars, executive vice president of ARM's Processor and Physical IP Divisions.
Globalfoundries said its 20nm low power mobile (LPM) technology has the potential to realise a 40 per cent performance improvement and twice the gate density of the current 28nm technology, making future chips built using it well suited to the requirements of next-generation tablets and smartphones.
Globalfoundries was created by the spin-off of AMD's silicon manufacturing business in 2009, and produces chips for AMD, Broadcom, and Qualcomm, among others.
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