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Vertically optimized 32/28nm design platform announced

June 16, 2010 // Phil Ling

Vertically optimized 32/28nm design platform announced

ARM, IBM, Samsung Electronics, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Synopsys have announced the delivery of the industry’s first complete vertically optimized 32/28 nanometer (nm) design platform. The collaboration was established and announced at DAC a year ago and the companies are collectively providing a technology enablement solution for the design and manufacturing of advanced mobile and embedded devices.


The solution consists of optimized high performance, low-power processor and physical IP from ARM; tool enablement, connectivity IP and integrated design flow from Synopsys; and 32/28nm low-power process technology from the Common Platform alliance of IBM, Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The Common Platform 32/28nm process uses an innovative high-k metal gate approach to address the limitations of polysilicon technology.  It leverages the research and development efforts of the IBM joint technology development alliance to offer a high-performance, low-power manufacturing platform.

The 32nm technology is scalable to 28nm for area optimization.  Customers can seamlessly transition to 28nm technology without the need for a major redesign and with lower risk, reduced cost and faster time-to-market.

The platform includes ARM Cortex processor architecture and suite of physical IP optimized for the 32/28nm HKMG process; the Synopsys Lynx Design System, enabled by the Galaxy Implementation Platform with IC Validator In-Design physical verification , and the Synopsys DesignWare portfolio of interface IP.  This RTL-to-GDSII implementation solution reduces risk and total design costs for optimized 32/28nm HKMG ARM Cortex processor-based SoC designs.

10 test chips have been produced through the three-way collaboration in 32 and 28nm HKMG process technology.  Producing these chips has helped validate the design platform, including Common Platform PDKs, ARM Physical IP and Cortex processors, Synopsys Interface IP, core tool enablement and design methodology for accelerating first customer silicon success.

The 32nm low-power HKMG process technology is currently factory-qualified by Samsung. 28nm low-power HKMG process technology to be factory-qualified at GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung in Q1 2011. The 32/28nm process technologies, featuring the innovative Gate First approach to HKMG, offer significant improvements in performance and power consumption when compared to the 45/40nm technology generations.

A standardized platform to manufacture 28nm low-power HKMG semiconductors for a new generation of mobile devices is planned, providing the flexibility of multi-sourcing based on the planned synchronization of fabs by members of the Common Platform alliance.

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