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Cadence, Globalfoundries out ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core silicon

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cadence Design Systems? Globalfoundries? HKMG? ARM? Internet of Things?

Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Globalfoundries announced the delivery of quad-core silicon built around the ARM Cortex-A17 processor implemented using Globalfoundries' 28nm Super Low Power (28nm-SLP) process with High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) technology. Globalfoundries used Cadence tools exclusively to achieve 2GHz processor performance at typical operating conditions, which matched pre-silicon design performance predicted by Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution analysis.

The Cadence tools used in this successful design include Encounter Digital Implementation System, Encounter RTL Compiler, Quantus QRC Extraction Solution, Tempus Timing Signoff Solution, Encounter Conformal Equivalence Checker, Physical Verification System and Litho Physical Analyser. The flow incorporated physical IP technology from the ARM POP IP suite to leverage the full performance range of the 28nm-SLP process.

Based on the success of this design, Cadence and Globalfoundries have also completed the tapeout of a second chip using the latest ARM Cortex-A17 processor RTL, achieving a 23 per cent single-core area reduction versus the previous tapeout, while meeting the 2GHz maximum frequency signoff target. The second tapeout included the full suite of ARM POP IP, including the optimized memory instances for Cortex-A17. In addition, the Cadence Voltus IC Power Integrity solution was used throughout the design of the next-generation quad-core tapeout to guide and validate the power grid and enable the implementation of advanced power shutoff technologies. Encounter Conformal Low Power was used to verify the power-intent specification for the design.

Globalfoundries' 28nm-SLP technology is intended for the next generation of mobile devices and low power Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, enabling designs with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, lower standby power and longer battery life. The technology is based on Globalfoundries' "Gate First" approach to HKMG, which has been in volume production for nearly four years. The technology offers a combination of performance, power efficiency and cost that is geared for the mobile and IoT market.

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