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Samsung, ARM Partner to Manufacture 3GHz+ Cortex-A76 CPUs Based on 7nm LPP Process Technology


British chip designer ARM Holdings is partnering Samsung to manufacture the recently unveiled Cortex-A76 CPU. These SoCs, based on 7nm LPP and 5nm LPE processes, will have CPU clock speeds over 3GHz, Samsung announced at Foundry Forum 2018 in South Korea. The small process size and high clock speeds will make the CPUs formidable, to say the least, and should be able to beat most modern 10nm chips in a similar configuration. They should also up the ante on ARM-powered PCs. Notably, it may take a while before consumers get to check out the new high-powered ARM CPUs in devices.

The partnership will involve SoCs designed by ARM and manufactured based on Samsung Foundry’s 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus) and 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early) process technologies, paired with ARM’s Artisan physical IP platform. The company has announced that Samsung’s 7LPP process technology will be ready for its initial production in the second half of 2018. Additionally, Samsung says 5LPE, the process technology after 7LPP, will allow greater area scaling and ultra-low power.

Meanwhile, development of the first Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) lithography process is under development and should be completed by the first half of 2019. This will enable 5nm SoCs that will be smaller and more power efficient than their 7nm counterparts. Samsung has also noted that its first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography process technology has been delayed to the first half of 2019.

When it comes to ARM, apart from the design of the Cortex-A76 CPU, its contribution is Artisan physical IP platform that includes HD logic architecture, a comprehensive suite of memory compilers, and 1.8V and 3.3V GPIO libraries. Additionally, for Samsung’s 7LPP and 5LPE process technologies, ARM will provide Artisan POP IP solutions on its latest processor cores featuring ARM DynamIQ technology. ARM has previously said that new ARM Cortex-A76 CPU that is based on DynamIQ technology, delivers “laptop-class performance,” and still maintains the power efficiency of a smartphone.

Ryan Sanghyun Lee, Vice president of Foundry Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics, says,”Collaboration with ARM in the fields of IP solutions is crucial to increase high-performance computing power and accelerate the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Kelvin Low, Vice President, Marketing, Physical Design Group at ARM, says, “Samsung Foundry’s 7LPP and 5LPE nodes are innovative process technologies which will meet our mutual customers’ needs to deliver the next generation of advanced system-on-chips (SoCs) from mobile to hyperscale datacenters.”