Samsung Foundry Collaborates With Arm on 18nm FDSOI
Arm and Samsung Foundry announced a comprehensive, foundry-sponsored physical IP platform, including an eMRAM compiler at 18FDS (18nm FDSOI). In addition, the Arm offerings for 18FDS include three POP IP packages for Arm Cortex-A55, Cortex-R52 and Cortex-M33 processor IP.
The platform will help drive new designs in power-sensitive applications in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), and other market segments. It’s the first comprehensive physical IP platform that includes an eMRAM compiler at 18FDS.
One of the most widely embraced nodes, 28nm the so-called “forever node,” has done wonders for industry innovation over the years. However, leakage power is still challenging for planar transistors. Engineers deployed high-K metal gate (HKMG) at 28nm, to combat leakage, but it’s still an issue. That’s because the channel underneath the gate is too deep and too far from the gate to be well-controlled, which results in higher leakage power.
Solutions for the leakage issue have prompted designers to embrace FinFETs and FDSOI (fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator) with thinner channels that enable greater control by the gate. Indeed, FDSOI is gaining traction in the market place.
By construction, 28nm FDSOI enables much better transistor electrostatic characteristics versus conventional bulk technology. According to Arm, the 28nm FDSOI offers:
- Wide Forward/Reverse Body-bias range and flexible Poly bias (PB) range to tradeoff power/performance.
- Better performance and power than bulk process technology.
- Better resistance to radiation and SER.
- Less sensitive to variability because there’s no channel doping.
- Ultra-low power voltage (operating at low voltages in the hundreds of millivolts range).
- Easy migration from bulk versus the previous SOI version, PDSOI (partially-depleted silicon-on-insulator), required unique timing and power models.
Arm and Samsung Foundry extend FDSOI from 28FDS to 18FDS
In 2018, Arm announced the first Embedded MRAM (eMRAM) compiler IP built on Samsung Foundry’s 28FDS process technology. Since the announcement, Arm has engaged with several Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFE) partners on a collaboration to deliver the first 28FDS eMRAM-enabled IoT silicon system demonstrator telling the Arm IoT story on Samsung Foundry silicon.
Coupled with Arm’s IoT ecosystem, Pelion IoT Platform and Platform Security Architecture (PSA) solutions, this 28FDS eMRAM-enabled IoT demonstrator will showcase a new-generation of secure and energy-efficient IoT edge devices which integrates software stacks offering secure boot, firmware updates, on-chip storage, chip to cloud communication and device/software provisioning. The combination of 28FDS and eMRAM non-volatile memory brings new opportunities for a new class of energy-efficient designs.
Samsung Foundry has extended its collaboration on FDSOI technology from 28FDS process to 18FDS. With the new platform, 18FDS is a cost reduction solution with lower power and same back end of line (BEOL) as 14nm FinFET. It has RF and eMRAM support to enable the widest range of different applications.
Highlights on Arm-Samsung 18FDS platform
- Includes seven memory compilers, three logic libraries, two (1.8 and 3.3V) GPIO libraries, three POP IPs and the eMRAM memory compiler.
- Supports automotive AEC-Q100 Grade 1 design requirements, and comes with ASIL-D support and a complete automotive safety package.
- Utilizes back biasing supported by the FDSOI technology to help achieve low leakage by using reverse body-bias technique or a performance boost using forward body-biasing. This is a key differentiation of 18FDS platform.
- Supports Logic Corner Generator (LCG) and Memory Compiler Corner Generator (MCCG). LCG and MCCG products allow designers to generate custom corners with body-bias voltages to take the maximum advantage of body biasing power-performance flexibility.
18FDS will help enable the development of new devices connecting consumers in entirely new ways, whether it’s in AI, 5G mobile, automotive or other areas. The platform will be available in late 2019.
Besides 28/18FDS, Samsung Foundry and Arm also have 14LPP/LPC, 11LPP, 7LPP and 5LPE platform collaborations.