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ARM Adds Globalfoundries to 64-bit SoC Manufacturers

By - Source: ARM | B 14 comments

Following a recent agreement with TSMC, ARM announced that it has also entered into a contract with Globalfoundries to support the production of next-gen processors, including upcoming 64-bit server SoCs and Mali GPUs.

The announcement scales to a 20 nm production process and FinFET process technologies, which will be critical for ARM as it must meet acceptable production volumes for its licensees. The company said that it will be developing a full IP platform as part of the agreement with Globalfoundries, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP IP solutions.

Globalfoundries agreed to fine-tune its production process to the "next-generation" ARM Cortex processor and Mali graphics processor technologies. The goal is to shorten the time-to-market for processor designers and help them quickly migrate to 3D FinFET transistors and reduce the likelihood or production problems.

ARM has been much more aggressive pitching the importance of FinFET recently. While 20 nm processor prototypes have been taped, for example, by Cadence in late 2011, commercial 20 nm FinFET processors are not expected to arrive until 2014/2015.

 

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  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , August 30, 2012 4:34 AM
    "reduce the likelihood of* production problems."

    At any rate, good on ARM. Now that Intel has them in their focus, they are going to need all the help they can get.
  • 9 Hide
    s3anister , August 30, 2012 5:31 AM
    I'm glad to hear something positive about Globalfoundries. Hopefully this works out for both parties and another fiasco like what happened with AMD and GF at the Dresden fab doesn't happen.
  • -2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 30, 2012 5:53 AM
    Good for GF means good for AMD, means competition for Intel, means happy consumer.
  • -4 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , August 30, 2012 6:52 AM
    What for ? As far as i know those SoC don`t have 4+ Gb RAM so there is no need for x64 on them!
  • 6 Hide
    phatboe , August 30, 2012 7:39 AM
    Why does this site have the most annoying ads I have ever seen on a tech site?
  • 3 Hide
    saturnus , August 30, 2012 8:24 AM
    The key words in this article is "ARM as it must meet acceptable production volumes for its licenses".

    One has to remember that there are more ARM cores produced every year now than the combined number of x86 CPUs ever made. ARM needs a fantastic amount of production capacity that no single or indeed even group of processor manufacturers can lift.

    _Cosmin_What for ? As far as i know those SoC don`t have 4+ Gb RAM so there is no need for x64 on them!


    x64 is AMDs x86s 64-bit extension (that Intel licenses, btw). Next generation ARM processor are 64-bit because they will be used in laptops, desktop and especially servers were a 64 bit register is needed.
  • 0 Hide
    acadia11 , August 30, 2012 8:50 AM
    So, if ARM wants to alleviate production problems, why would they go with Global Foundaries? Didn't they learn the lesson from AMD?
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 30, 2012 11:20 AM
    2014/2015 means Intel will be on 14nm. Youch.

    mayankleoboy1Good for GF means good for AMD, means competition for Intel, means happy consumer.

    GF isn't under AMD anymore afaik. And AMD uses TSMC.

    _Cosmin_What for ? As far as i know those SoC don`t have 4+ Gb RAM so there is no need for x64 on them!

    Again, we're talking about 2014/2015. Intel's next gen (22nm) Atom SoC has support for up to 8GB RAM, and it's going to come out by the end of next year. Also, this won't be x86-64, this will be ARM64 or whatever they'll call it. And anyway, it's better to have 64-bit on any platform ASAP (unless it's too expensive), rather than have a lot of 32-bit optimized software when you'll change to 64-bit.

    I mean, compare the time it's going to take the smartphone/tablet industry to shift from 32-bit to 64-bit to the time taken by the PC industry. I can't see how it's a bad thing. There's only one more console generation left anyway, IMO. After that, play Xbox games on your Surface tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , August 30, 2012 1:46 PM
    If AMD gets things together and ARM pushing harder it looks like Intel is going to have a tough time over the next few years as more and more focus is put into embedded systems.
  • -1 Hide
    rebel1280 , August 30, 2012 1:49 PM
    Hmm, time to move on to 128 bit!!
  • 1 Hide
    saturnus , August 30, 2012 2:45 PM
    ojasAnd anyway, it's better to have 64-bit on any platform ASAP (unless it's too expensive), rather than have a lot of 32-bit optimized software when you'll change to 64-bit.


    The transition will be quite long and practically unnoticeable by the end user as the ARM 64 bit architecture called ARMv8 can not only run 32 bit instructions on a 64 bit architecture but also run 64 bit instructions on a 32 bit architecture. So it's both backwards and forwards compatible.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 30, 2012 3:45 PM
    saturnusThe transition will be quite long and practically unnoticeable by the end user as the ARM 64 bit architecture called ARMv8 can not only run 32 bit instructions on a 64 bit architecture but also run 64 bit instructions on a 32 bit architecture. So it's both backwards and forwards compatible.

    I won't claim to know too much about ARM's architecture, so i'll take your word for it. I guess it's almost essential for transitioning to a new arch regardless of the platform, otherwise it'll be quite problematic.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , August 30, 2012 3:45 PM
    ojas2014/2015 means Intel will be on 14nm. Youch.GF isn't under AMD anymore afaik. And AMD uses TSMC.Again, we're talking about 2014/2015. Intel's next gen (22nm) Atom SoC has support for up to 8GB RAM, and it's going to come out by the end of next year. Also, this won't be x86-64, this will be ARM64 or whatever they'll call it. And anyway, it's better to have 64-bit on any platform ASAP (unless it's too expensive), rather than have a lot of 32-bit optimized software when you'll change to 64-bit. I mean, compare the time it's going to take the smartphone/tablet industry to shift from 32-bit to 64-bit to the time taken by the PC industry. I can't see how it's a bad thing. There's only one more console generation left anyway, IMO. After that, play Xbox games on your Surface tablet.


    AMD still uses GF a lot for their CPUs and APUs.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , August 30, 2012 3:47 PM
    acadia11So, if ARM wants to alleviate production problems, why would they go with Global Foundaries? Didn't they learn the lesson from AMD?


    GF has been working with Samsung, among other companies, to improve.