Arm, Samsung and Synopsys have collaborated to design tools and IP to accelerate the adoption of the next-gen 5nm Arm Hercules SoCs, for a wide variety of applications.
The solutions are aimed at Samsung Foundry’s 5LPE (Low Power Early) process technology, Synposys announced. They include Synposys’ “AI-enhanced cloud-ready” Fusion Design Platform, and QuickStart Implementation Kits, along with both Arm Artisan Physical IP and Arm POP IP of the Hercules CPU. They allow designers to create SoCs with the Hercules core with optimal characteristics and to get the maximum value out of its 5nm process, Samsung said. The companies are targeting the usual HPC, automotive, 5G, and AI market segments.
More specifically, the Fusion Design Platform incorporates many of Synopsys’ tools. Those have been leveraged to optimize the implementation of the Hercules core, resulting in power, performance and area (PPA) improvements and faster time-to-market, according to Synopsys. Samsung Foundry has certified the platform for 5LPE. The QuickStart Implementation Kits (QIK) include scripts, and a reference guide, and are available today.
Hercules is the codename of the 2020 CPU on Arm’s Client Compute CPU Roadmap. It will succeed Deimos, so it will probably go to market under the Cortex-A78 name. Exact timing of chips hitting the market will have to seen, as Deimos has yet to appear.
Samsung Foundry’s 5LPE is the third evolution of the company's 7nm EUV platform. Samsung reported a 20% reduction in power or a 10% increase in power, with a 25% density increase, making it more an evolution of its 7LPP technology than a new process node, unlike TSMC’s 5nm which features a 1.84x density improvement. Samsung plans to start volume production in the first half of 2020.