Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
Arm and Samsung Foundry now Successfully Collaborating on 7nm and Beyond
Arm and Samsung Foundry, which have partnered for years on innovations in ultra-deep submicron process nodes, have announced a new milestone in their successful relationship: The first 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus) and 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early) libraries for the long-anticipated extreme ultra-violet (EUV) lithography.
The announcement is the latest in a tremendously successful 12-year collaboration between Arm and Samsung Foundry, which has produced technologies and libraries starting at 65nm. Leveraging Arm’s unique IP integration capabilities, Samsung Foundry was able to use Arm physical and processor IP to validate the design readiness of their most advanced node.
Samsung Foundry’s EUV Features and Benefits
EUV is a step change in silicon design. It will reduce the complexity of 7nm design implementation. Manufacturers can turn three or four lithography layers into one and multi-patterning to single patterning layer which provides a tremendous reduction in processing cycle time and condenses the size of chips. It also will result in more compact layout, due to tighter design rules compared with multi-color patterning.
Samsung Foundry’s lastest 7LPP EUV manufacturing process uses high-energy EUV light source to create chips with ultra-fine device features with critical dimensions as small as 7nm. For comparison, a common virus cell is 10nm across, and a microscopic strand of DNA is roughly 2.5nm wide, while individual silicon atoms measure slightly less than 1nm.
“7LPP and 5LPE process technologies deliver the advantages of EUV lithography, reducing layout complexity and time-to-design at these advanced technology nodes,” said Ryan Lee, vice president of Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics. “By collaborating with Arm in early development stages, we took advantage of extensive Design Technology Co-Optimization techniques. This resulted in processes optimized for both manufacturing and design. The Arm Artisan foundation IP platforms for 7LPP and 5LPE are built on top of this collaboration, enabling early access to our differentiated EUV solutions for next-generation designs.”
Besides the advanced technology, Samsung recent launched its SAFE TM (Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem) program to provide comprehensive design solutions. Arm is one of the strategic members of SAFE TM program, giving the ecosystem and customers access to leading co-optimized physical IP solutions to enhance next-generation SoC designs.
Physical IP Platform Overview for 7LPP
Samsung Foundry is the first to market with the 7nm EUV process. Arm’s comprehensive Samsung Foundry-sponsored Artisan physical IP platform will be available starting later this year.
Arm is developing a HD logic architecture, comprehensive suite of memory compilers, 1.8V and 3.3V GPIO libraries as well as providing POP IP solutions for our latest processor cores which features DynamIQ. POP IP is core-hardening acceleration technology for producing the best Arm processor implementations in the fastest time-to-market
The platform will be available in 2H2018 for our lead customers designs.
Arm Artisan Physical IP for 7LPP is developed to support low-voltage operation for memories and bitcell operation down to 0.55V.
Physical IP Platform Overview for Samsung 5LPE
In addition to the 7LPP EUV, Samsung Foundry has also designed the first 5LPE with EUV benefits and additional area scaling. 5LPE node brings in both the area scaling as well as the ease of layout which is the biggest EUV benefit.
For 5LPE, Arm is developing and additional UHD logic architecture, on top of the complete suite of memory compilers and GPIO libraries. Complementing the platform offering will be additional POP IPs for our next generation advanced cores including support for Arm’s big.LITTLE configuration.
Arm Artisan IP Availability
Arm 7LPP physical IP platform is available starting 3Q 2018 for lead customer designs in the areas of mobile, consumer, high performance compute and autotmotive. 5LPE physical IP platform offering will be available in early 2019.