ARM and Globalfoundries on Wednesday demonstrated a special test chip based on two ARM Cortex-A9 general-purpose cores operating at whopping 2.50GHz, which is a record clock-speed for ARM. The system-on-chip was made using 28nm HPP [high-performance plus] fabrication process.In a bid to verify high-performance system-on-chip designs and their elements, ARM and Globalfoundries developed special TQV (technology qualification vehicles) that use Artisan advanced physical IP which is widely used by many developers. Each TQV is designed to emulate a full specification SoC and aims to improve performance, lower power consumption and facilitate a faster path to market for foundry customers. The dual-core Cortex-A9 TQV SoC operating at 2.50GHz is an industry record and a clear demonstration of 28 HPP fabrication process’ capabilities.
Globalfoundries’s 28 HPP process technology enables extremely low active power and an operating point of 0.85V, but at the same time allow to produce very complex chips with very high clock-speeds. In particular, GF’s 28nm HPP allows to produce microprocessors and similar devices.“Today’s announcement is a clear demonstration that the TQV strategy developed with ARM is paying dividends in our 32/28nm HKMG technology by delivering impressive performance and energy-efficiency. We continue to work closely with ARM to leverage our TQV strategy as an integral part of 20nm process technology development. This enables our customers to rapidly ramp up their next-generation designs based on ARM Cortex-A series processors to high-volume production,” said Mojy Chian, senior vice president of design enablement at Globalfoundries.
The 20nm TQV chip is based on Globalfoundries next-generation 20nm platform, which is designed to improve performance by up to 35% and nearly halve power consumption when compared to 28nm technologies.T he goal of the 20nm TQV is the same as the 28nm TQV: to develop process technology that is optimized for Cortex-A series processors. The early collaboration between Globalfoundries and ARM will help chip designers address the increasing design and manufacturing complexities of 20nm technology, whiler educing time to volume production.“These milestones are proof that the strategic collaboration involving Cortex-A series processors implemented using Artisan advanced physical IP and Globalfoundries 28nm process technology is able to deliver leading high-performance, energy-efficient solutions. Furthermore, it serves as a foundation for next-generation mobile andhigh-end consumer devices using 20nm process technology,” said Simon Segars,executive vice president and general manager, physical IP division at ARM.