ARM, GlobalFoundries discuss upcoming 28-nm SoCs

— 4:03 PM on February 16, 2010

As the Mobile World Congress rolls on in Barcelona, Spain, ARM and GlobalFoundries have selected the occasion to reveal more details about their partnership, which first became public last October.

The two companies already announced the development of 28-nm system-on-a-chip devices featuring ARM's Cortex-A9 microprocessor cores. Now, ARM and GlobalFoundries say their collaboration will span both super-low-power and high-performance variants of GlobalFoundries' 28-nm high-k metal-gate process. The low-power process will be targeted at "mobile and consumer" applications, while the high-performance process will serve for "applications requiring maximum performance"—no kidding.

In addition, the two firms have shared some performance and power consumption data. GlobalFoundries expects its 28-nm HKMG process to deliver a 40% performance increase within the same thermal envelope as 40- or 45-nm products. Coupling their know-how, ARM and GlobalFoundries also say they can achieve up to 30% less power consumption and 100% higher standby battery life.

This latest press release states that we'll see GlobalFoundries-produced, ARM-powered system-on-a-chip devices in smart phones, tablets, and so-called "smartbooks"—laptops that look and behave like netbooks, but contain ARM-based chips instead of Intel processors.

GlobalFoundries still aims to kick off production of devices based on its 28-nm HKMG process in the second half of this year.

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