ARM expands Processor Optimisation Packs

ARM has expanded its range of Processor Optimisation Pack (POP) lineups for TSMC’s 40nm and 28nm processes, which is says will benefit its collection of  Cortex processors.

A POP is made up for three elements needed to achieve an optimised ARM core implementation.

This includes the company’s ARM Artisan Physical IP logic libraries and memory instances, which are claimed to be specifically tuned for a given ARM core and process technology. Secondly, it includes a comprehensive benchmarking report to document the exact conditions and results the company achieved for the core implementation. And finally there is a POP Implementation Guide that gives users an outline of what was used to achieve the results and to help customers achieve the same implementation quickly.

It has launched nine POP configurations targeting Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 processor cores, which it claims will enable its partners to quickly close timing of single, dual and quad-core implementations across a broad range of power, performance and area optimisation points.

It also claims the new range will reduce risk and improve a quicker time-to-market in the development of Cortex processor-based SoCs and give partners a six week result time.  

The company’s top tier 28nm high performance for mobile and 28nm high performance process variants will benefit from the new POPs, as will its newest Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 processors.

ARM said that since the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 cores are used in tandem as ARM’s big LITTLE  energy-efficient processing range, adding POPs for both cores ensures a better process.

Its lead licensee for the Cortex-A15 POP for TSMC 28nm HPM is also claimed to be progressing toward the tape out of its first chip in the coming months.

At the TSMC 40nm LP (low power) tier, ARM’s existing POP offering for the Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A9 processors is being augmented with the new Cortex-A7 POP.

The company added that it was also working with TSMC to offer new POP variants, which would give support for the latest high-speed options for TSMC 40nm LP – meaning that these process options can take full advantage of the POP implementation benefits.

Its POPs for TSMC 40nm LP for Cortex-A5 (1.0 GHz) and Cortex-A9 (1.4 GHz) are shipping in production chips used in smart-TV, set-top boxes, mobile computing and smart phones.