GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM, and You

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2009 - 08:09 AM |
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Today GF has released news of a partnership that it has developed with well known CPU designer ARM (Advanced RISC Machines).  While ARM itself does not actually produce their CPUs for end users, they do license out their designs to anyone and nearly everyone in the industry.  One of the latest ARM enabled designs is NVIDIA's Tegra, which features the ARM 11 processor.  While not the most cutting edge ARM design, it has allowed NVIDIA to successfully enter the smartphone and MID market with a pretty robust product with excellent features.  So far the biggest application of the Tegra has been in the Zune HD from Microsoft, and other designs are set to roll out soon from a variety of other manufacturers.

By working closely with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM is enabling their technology to be used on GF's 28 nm HKMG process.  This will likely insure that other customers looking for a fast and power efficient implementation of their ARM enabled device will go shopping at GF to produce their chip.  If GF can get their 28 nm HKMG process up and running on time, then it could be a huge win for the company as they likely would fill their line orders for some time to come.  This also means that as an end user, we will likely see much more feature packed handheld devices that will behave snappier than what we have now.  This could be a huge win for GF, and one of their first big steps to being a profitable foundry.

ARM AND GLOBALFOUNDRIES ESTABLISH A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
TO ENABLE APPLICATION OPTIMIZED SOC PRODUCTS ON 28NM HIGHK METAL GATE (HKMG)
PROCESS

Relationship leverages
synergies between ARM’s leading low power processor architecture, optimized
physical IP and partner Eco-system with GLOBALFOUNDRIES advanced technology,
design and manufacturing excellence.

CAMBRIDGE, UK – October 6, 2009 – ARM® [(LSE: ARM);
(Nasdaq: ARMH)] and GLOBALFOUNDRIES® today announces a long-term strategic
relationship to provide their mutual customers with an innovative SoC
enablement program.   To support the long-term relationship,
GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM have signed a broad agreement on processor
implementation and circuit optimization to provide mutual customers with a
robust enablement program geared towards next-generation applications.

The SoC enablement program, built around a full suite of ARM
Physical IP, Fabric IP and Processor IP, will deliver customers unparalleled
design flexibility on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ most advanced HKMG semiconductor
manufacturing capabilities. The collaborative efforts of the partnership will
initially focus on enabling SoC products which use the low power and high
performance ARM Cortex -A9 processor on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm HKMG
process.  The characteristics of GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm “Gate First” HKMG
technology is optimized for high performance processing with minimal leakage
making it an ideal choice for advanced mobile solutions. 

“This announcement reflects our business value and strategy
of providing best in class processor implementation by marrying our own
processor and physical IP with world class manufacturing semiconductor
technology,” said Warren East, chief executive officer, ARM.  “This
collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and their commitment to delivering leading
edge technology makes them an ideal partner to accelerate the adoption of ARM
processor based technology at 28nm.” 

“This relationship further advances our strong focus to
partner with industry leaders in processor design to deliver manufacturing and
technology excellence at the leading edge,” said Doug Grose, chief executive
officer, GLOBALFOUNDRIES.  “This highly complementary partnership
leverages ARM’s architectural leadership along with GLOBALFOUNDRIES advanced
technology to enable the deployment of 28nm SoC designs with exceptional
performance for next-generation consumer devices.

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