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13 August, 2012 - 10:19 By Tony Quested

Innovation power play by ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES

Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, Processor and Physical IP Divisions at ARM

ARM, the Cambridge UK superchip designer, and US-based GLOBALFOUNDRIES have formed a pact to power semiconductor innovation for the next two generations.

The multi-year agreement will see ARM enable next generation devices on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 20nm and FinFet process technologies.

The technology collaboration will help deliver a new level of system performance and power efficiency for a range of mobile apps, from smartphones to tablets to ultra-thin notebooks.

The new agreement also extends the long-standing collaboration to include graphics processors, which are becoming an increasingly critical component in mobile devices.

ARM will develop a full platform of ARM Artisan® Physical IP, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP™ IP solutions.

The companies have been collaborating for several years to jointly optimise ARM Cortex™-A series processors, including multiple demonstrations of performance and power-efficiency benefits on 28nm as well as a 20nm test-chip implementation currently running through GLOBALFOUNDRIES fab in New York.

The latest agreement extends the prior efforts by driving production IP platforms that will enable customer designs on 20nm and promote rapid migration to three-dimensional FinFET transistor technology. This joint development will enable a faster time to delivering SoC solutions for customers using next-generation ARM CPUs and GPUs in mobile devices.

Mike Noonen, executive vice president, worldwide marketing and sales at GLOBALFOUNDRIES said: “ARM technologies are at the heart of many of the world’s highest volume product categories, and we believe will only grow in importance for our customers in the years ahead.

“By leveraging our implementation knowledge and applying it to a next-generation, energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processing unit, we believe we can jointly offer a compelling differentiation to our mutual customers that will power innovation into the next two generations.”

Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, Processor and Physical IP Divisions at ARM, added: “This early engagement promotes the rapid adoption of ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES technologies in future SoCs for several important markets.

“Customers designing for mobile, tablet and computing applications will benefit extensively from the energy-efficient ARM processor and graphics processor included in this collaboration.

“By proactively working together to enable next-generation 20nm-LPM and FinFET process technologies, our mutual customers can be assured a range of implementation options that will enable two more generations of advanced semiconductor devices.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Simon Segars

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