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Global Foundries gets its second major partnership for 28 nm chips: ARM

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

In late 2008, AMD spun off a major portion of its chip fabrication business into a new company called GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with Abu Dhabi investment firm ATIC. At the time, AMD said the new venture would “join the IBM joint development alliance for both silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and bulk silicon through the 22 nanometer generation. The alliance consists of a group of leading semiconductor companies collaborating on next generation silicon technologies.”

So as the chips have worked their way from 45 nm in size down to 28, Global Foundries has teamed up with ARM Holdings and is working on a new System-on-a-Chip based on the ARM Cortex A9 processor and GlobalFoundries’ High-K Metal Gate 28 nm fabrication process.

ARM says the new platform is expected to enable a 40% increase in computing performance, a 30% decrease in power consumption, and a 100% increase in standby battery life over 40/45 nm.

There will be two variants of the new 28 nm process: one for mobile and consumer applications (SLP), and one for higher performance applications (HP).

ARM expects production of these SoCs to begin in the second half of 2010 in the Dresden, Germany facility — at one time, the crown jewel of AMD’s system of foundries.

This is the second major partnership GlobalFoundries has announced this year that will result in new products coming out of Dresden. In January, Qualcomm announced it intended to collaborate with GlobalFoundries on wireless technology CDMA2000, WCDMA and 4G/LTE cellular standards, and the smartbook device segment.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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