Samsung, Arm team up: Expect new mobile chipset faster than 3GHz

Samsung will soon start manufacturing Arm's new Cortex-A76 chips.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: New Arm processors for mobile devices tailored to AI and VR.

Arm is teaming up with Samsung's foundry to manufacture the recently announced Cortex-A76 CPU, which the pair say will run at speeds above 3GHz.

At that speed the Cortex-A76 will be more powerful than Qualcomm's best Cortex-A75 SoC, the Snapdragon 845, which tops out at 2.8GHz.

At launch, Arm said Cortex-A76 chips would even challenge Intel's Core i7 on performance, meaning it could benefit not just smartphones but laptops too, such as 'always connected' Windows 10 on Arm devices from HP and Lenovo, which use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835.

The collaboration will involve the Arm-designed chips being manufactured on Samsung's 7LPP (7nm Low Power Plus) and 5LPE (5nm Low Power Early) process technologies, combined with Arm's Artisan physical IP platform.

However, it could still be some time before consumers see these high-powered Arm CPUs in devices.

Initial production on the 7LPP process is set to begin in the second half of 2018. Samsung says 5LPE, the process technology after 7LPP, will allow greater area scaling and ultra-low power.

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Samsung also revealed that its first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography process technology has been delayed to the first half of 2019.

EUV is central to Samsung's ambitions for next-gen chips, enabling finer circuits and more components on a chip. The company had hoped to be using EUV on its 7LPP process by the second half of 2018 and plans to invest $6bn in the capability by 2020.

Arm's contribution comes in the form of its Arm Artisan physical IP platform that includes HD logic architecture, a comprehensive suite of memory compilers, and 1.8V and 3.3V GPIO libraries. It will also be providing its POP IP acceleration technology.

"Building an extensive and differentiated design ecosystem is a must for our foundry customers," said Ryan Sanghyun Lee, vice president of the Foundry Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics.

"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."

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