Samsung, GlobalFoundries tie up for mobile chip designs

Samsung. 'offer design platform for faster production of chips based on Arm designs

Chip makers including Samsung and GlobalFoundries on Monday announced a development platform that could hasten the release of a new generation of low-power chips for mobile devices.

The development platform will lead to faster design and production of mobile and embedded chips using the advanced 32-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes, the companies said. The platform will include tools that enable designing and engineering of chips.

The platform could help customers push more power-efficient mobile chips to market faster, said Jason Gorss, a GlobalFoundries spokesman. The platform will include intellectual property from Arm and low-power process technology from the Common Platform, which is an alliance between IBM, Samsung and GlobalFoundries.

Samsung Electronics said it has completed reliability testing and is ready to start volume production of low-power chips using the 32-nanometer process. The company said it was ready to meet the needs the "media-intensive, energy-efficient requirements of next-generation mobile consumer electronics."

Samsung was able to achieve significant power reduction due to improved manufacturing technologies and chip designs. The chip shows a 30 percent dynamic power reduction and less leakage compared to chips made using the 45-nm design.

Samsung provides chips for mobile phones, among other devices. According to Chipworks, Apple's A4 chip, which is in the iPad tablet, is fabricated using Samsung's 45-nm process. Apple has said that an A4 chip will also used in the upcoming iPhone, which is due for release on June 24.

GlobalFoundries will focus on production of mobile chips using the 28-nm process, Gorss said. GlobalFoundries' production of chips based on the 28-nm process will start in the fourth quarter of this year. GlobalFoundries plans to implement the 32-nm manufacturing process in the future, which it will retain for faster chips such as Advanced Micro Devices' laptops and desktop chips.

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