During his keynote at Common Platform Technology Forum, Mike Noonen, executive vice president of global sales and marketing at GlobalFoundries, talked about the company’s “uncommon solutions” in using partnerships to go “beyond the model that started 30 years ago”. The company has signed a number of deals that will see the foundry offer much more complex IP than is generally the case today.
“We view this as the next stage in what it means to be a foundry for fabless companies. It is going beyond outsourced manufacturing to be an extension of your strategy. We believe that this is the future,” said Noonen.
The first deal is with Cyclos, a spinout from MIT, which has developed a power-saving clock-tree scheme based on the use of distributed inductors. “Professor Marios Papaefthymiou realised that by using the lowly inductor and putting it in parallel it not just regains some energy in the clocking circuit but also allows tighter timing closure. AMD has used this and implemented it in our 32nm high-k metal-gate process. There are more than 100 inductors in parallel that don’t impact die size but achieve double-digit power savings,” said Noonen.
“We have partnered with Cyclos and are integrating resonant clocking into an ARM Cortex-A15 core. We expect other platforms and technologies will follow but this will initially be offered on the 28SLP and 28HPP processes. This type of solution is non-traditional for a foundry to engage in.”
The second deal is with Adapteva, which has developed a massively parallel signal processing engine. “It offers three world firsts. It is the first to achieve 15GLOPS/W; the first solution of its kind to have an OpenCL developers kit and the first company to successfully crowdsource a project. Adapteva raised funding through Kickstarter and 6000 people have bought a development kit. This could become the macroprocessor of the 21st Century,” Noonen claimed. “Adapteva and GlobalFoundries have partnered to comarket the architecture, which will be available in the second quarter of this year.”
A third IP deal is with Rambus for its memory and interconnect IP. “We are introducing a simplified licensing program. We are making it easier for customers to engage with GlobalFoundries and make use of these Rambus capabilities.”
Also at CPTF, Cadence said GlobalFoundries has certified a number of technologies for the 20nm LPM process, covering both the Virtuoso and Encounter families of tools including a SKILL-based process design kit (PDK).