Feeds

Big Blue dons oven mitts for ARM wafer bake

Samsung chip pact too

Reducing security risks from open source software

IBM Microelectronics – the chip designing and wafer baking division of the IT giant – has inked a deal with ARM Holdings to help make sure those who license ARM chips have the processes and fabs to make them.

ARM Holdings has been collaborating with IBM Microelectronics since 2008, and it has used IBM's 32 nanometer and 28 nanometer process nodes to bake 11 test chips to give to licenses of the Cortex family of ARM chips. More recently, ARM has used IBM's 32 nanometer high-K metal gate processes to etch a complete dual-core Cortex-A9 chip. ARM is using IBM's chip technologies to help its own licensees make better system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, which are used in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices.

Neither company said anything about the potential of creating future ARM designs for servers, but if you wanted to partner with a fab to build server chips that will go up against Intel, IBM is one of the obvious choices. The embedded DRAM for on-chip cache – which was first deployed on IBM's Power7 and z11 chips and which is implemented in IBM's 32 nanometer copper processes (called Cu-32) – was demonstrated on ARM SoC designs last November. eDRAM takes about 60 per cent less space on a chip than static RAM, and it consumes about 90 per cent less power. It is also a little bit slower, so you need more and you need to weave it close to the cores, as IBM has done with its own chips.

The collaboration agreement that ARM and IBM have extended today calls for the two companies to cooperate on chip manufacturing processes ranging from 20 nanometers down to 14 nanometers.

In a separate announcement, IBM and Samsung Electronics, a maker of ARM processors for netbooks and other devices, have extended their own joint development agreement. The two companies will be working together on basic chip research at the Albany Nanotech Complex in the New York state capitol city. The agreement covers research in semiconductor materials, wafer making processes, and other technologies relating to 20 nanometer and smaller process nodes.

IBM, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries are expected to release more information this week about their "common platform" chip making processes. Back in June, these three partners and Synopsys delivered processes for 32 nanometer and 28 nanometer high-K metal gate processes. STMicroelectronics also last year said it would be picking up the team's 28 nanometer bulk CMOS and high-k metal gate processes for its own fabs.

Synopsys sells a chip design platform called Lynx and an intellectual property integration system called DesignWare IP that will allow those who license ARM IP to implement those licenses and tweak the designs to suit their needs while staying within the chip making processes outlined by IBM, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.