18 Dec 2014

Cadence and Global Foundries deliver quad-core silicon

Cadence Design Systems has announced the delivery of quad-core silicon built around the ARM Cortex-A17 processor implemented using GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm Super Low Power (28nm-SLP) process with High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) technology.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES utilized Cadence tools to achieve 2.0GHz processor performance at typical operating conditions, which matched pre-silicon design performance predicted by Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution analysis.

The tools used in this successful design include Encounter Digital Implementation System, Encounter RTL Compiler, Quantus QRC Extraction Solution, Tempus Timing Signoff Solution, Encounter Conformal Equivalence Checker, Physical Verification System and Litho Physical Analyzer.

The flow incorporated physical IP technology from the ARM POP IP suite to leverage the full performance range of the 28nm-SLP process.

The partners have also completed the tapeout of a second chip using the latest ARM Cortex-A17 processor RTL, achieving a 23 percent single-core area reduction versus the previous tapeout, while meeting the 2.0GHz maximum frequency signoff target.

The second tapeout included the full suite of ARM POP IP, including the optimized memory instances for Cortex-A17.

In addition, the Cadence Voltus IC Power Integrity solution was used throughout the design of the next-generation quad-core tapeout to guide and validate the power grid and enable the implementation of advanced power shutoff technologies. Encounter Conformal Low Power was used to verify the power-intent specification for the design.

“Silicon to simulation correlation at 2.0GHz performance further validates the maturity of our 28nm-SLP process, which continues to deliver silicon-proven performance and power targets our high-volume mid-range mobile customers demand,” said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president, Product Management Group at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “We collaborated closely with Cadence and ARM to deliver these designs using our 28nm-SLP process, and our customers can reap the benefits when using the ARM Cortex-A17 processor and the Cadence design flow.”

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