Globalfoundries and ARM announce 2.5GHz 28nm SoC success

We've already reported about Globalfoundries and ARM's relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back in September and back then the two companies had 2GHz Cortex-A9 test chips up and running. Fast forward three months and the two have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, again on test chips, but they've also announced that they've taped out 20nm technology qualification vehicles based around the Cortex-A9 architecture.

We've already reported about Globalfoundries and ARM's relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back in September and back then the two companies had 2GHz Cortex-A9 test chips up and running. Fast forward three months and the two have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, again on test chips, but they've also announced that they've taped out 20nm technology qualification vehicles based around the Cortex-A9 architecture.

The big news here is that we should be able to expect both 32nm and 28nm ARM based processors to be manufactured by Globalfoundries in large quantities come next year, at least as long as there are customers. It should be noted that the current chips are based on Globalfoundries 28nm high performance technology and the company is expecting further performance improvements one it moves to its high performance plus (HPP) platform. The press release talks about the HPP parts to be for “wired networking applications” rather than smartphones, although the 2.5GHz chips that were announced should be suitable for a wide range of mobile consumer devices.

As for the 20nm technology qualification vehicle or TQV, well, Globalfoundries is expecting a 35 percent increase in performance and nearly half the power consumption compared to a 28nm counterpart, much higher than what was said back in September. This isn't likely to be something we'll see until 2013 of Globalfoundries roadmaps are anything to go by. We're still curious about the fact that the two companies hasn't mentioned the Cortex-A15 architecture at all, as we're expecting the first SoC's based on ARMs next generation core to arrive towards the end of next year, but maybe it's not that different to manufacture from the Cortex-A9, or the two aren't willing to give away too many details at the moment. The good news for Globalfoundries is that the company should be able to find a few additional customers this way, as we're fairly certain that ARM would recommend to go with Globalfoundries over say TSMC due to the closer relationship between Globalfoundries and ARM.