ARM and Globalfoundries optimize next-gen mobile processors

ARM and Globalfoundries have announced new power, performance and cost-optimized POP technology for the Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors in the context of GloFo’s 28nm-SLP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process tech.

The Cortex-A12 processor was introduced by ARM earlier this week as part of a suite of IP targeting the rapidly growing market for mid-range mobile devices.

“Essentially, the two industry heavyweights will combine ARM’s next-gen mobile processor and POP IP with GloFo’s 28nm-SLP HKMG process solution,” a GloFo rep explained.

“This will enable a new level of system performance and power efficiency with the optimum economics necessary to serve the mid-range mobile device market.”

Central to this increase in functionality for mid-range mobile devices is the new ARM Cortex-A12 processor, which boasts a 40% performance increase and direct upgrade path from the Cortex-A9 processor, all while matching the energy efficiency of its predecessor.

“The Cortex-A12 processor provides best-in-class efficiency as a standalone solution, but additionally supports the innovative big.LITTLE processing technology with the Cortex-A7 processor, bringing this energy-efficient technology to the mid-range,” the rep said.

“GloFo’s 28nm-SLP process technology and associated ARM POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor enables up to 70 percent higher performance (measured single-thread performance) and up to 2x better power efficiency in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor using 40nm process technology. Designers can achieve even higher performance by trading off for lower power efficiency, depending on their application needs.”

It should also be noted that ARM introduced its Mali-T622 GPU alongside the Cortex-A12. The T622 is OpenGL ES 3.0 conformant, supports the Renderscript and OpenCL APIs, and is the smallest full profile GPU Compute solution available for mobile devices.

“The Mali-T622 GPU brings a rich, visual experience to mid-range mobile devices with functionality only now becoming available in the highest-end premium smartphones and tablets. It does all of this while providing a 50 percent energy-efficiency improvement over first-generation Mali-T600 series products,” an ARM rep added.