English fabless developer of mobile processors ARM said it will demonstrate its first 32nm processor core at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today.
The core from the Cortex processor line is built on an IBM Common Platform test chip in IBMs High-K metal gate (HKMG) process. ARM stated its partners will receive specs and samples some time this year, whereas the chip itself will be available for full-scale production in the first few months of 2010. The test chip on demonstration consists of a Cortex processor core, prototype libraries and a range of test structures, which show that ARM's technology is working. It will be the aim to develop a platform which integrates logic, memory and interface designs. ARM worked nine months with Common Platform to bring the Cortex processor cores to the 32nm process.
Common Platform is a working group established between IBM, Chartered Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics which jointly develops common process technologies, which are set up at chip production facilites of all three companies. ARM announced its plans to develop a 32nm and 28nm SoC (system on a chip) based on its Cortex processor line with IBM-led Common Platform late September of last year. ARM said it opted for the Common Platform as its HKMG (High-K Metal Gate) manufacturing process offered new possibilites thanks to new applications from material sciences. The process allows better scaling, which will make 32nm Cortex processors more powerful, whilst consuming less power.
“This silicon proof is a key step in our roadmap to demonstrate the technical synergy between leading ARM processors, ARM Physical IP and the Common Platform process technology that delivers best-in-class performance, lowest power consumption and rapid time-to-market,” blathered Ian Drew, ARM's executive vice president. ARM also announced today that 10 billion processors based on the company's designs have been shipped until now. ARM designs can be found in digital cameras, mobile phones and gadgets such as the Playstation Portable and the Nintendo DS. X