Chip makers deliver 32/28nm design platform

The heavyweight chip-making alliance of IBM Samsung Electronics and GlobalFoundries joined with Synopsys, to say it has delivered the industry's first complete, vertically-optimised 32/28 nanometre design platform.

The initiative uses an ARM low-power chip design and Samsung's recently certified high-k metal gate (HKMG) process in an effort to create a SoC platform for mobile devices.

An ARM Cortex processor architecture is combined with an optimised suite of physical IP, including standard cells, power management kit, memory compilers and interface IP, for the 32/28nm HKMG process.

The companies say the platform enable to faster design and production of mobile and embedded chips based on advanced 32-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes. The 32nm technology is scalable to 28nm so that buyers can transition to 28nm technology without the need for a major redesign and with lower risk, reduced cost and faster time-to-market.

The announcement is one result of the Common Platform initiative that sees IBM, Samsung Electronics, GlobalFoundries collaborating on 28nm, 32nm, 45nm, 65nm and 90nm process technologies.

The Common Platform 32/28nm process uses the high-k metal gate approach to address the limitations of polysilicon technology.

The 32/28nm process technologies,offer significant improvements in performance and power consumption when compared to the 45/40nm technology generations while the multi-firm alliance approach allows these players to compete with Intel while delivering a flexibility of multi-sourcing based on the planned synchronization of fabs by members of the Common Platform.

The alliance has been showing off its wares with demonstrations and technical sessions at the 2010 Design Automation Conference in California this week and is today hosting a swanky lunch at which executives from the five allied companies will detail the benefits of 32/28nm HKMG and the accessibility of the platform.