Most of the talk involving 32nm usually includes an Intel or AMD processor roadmap, but in the mobile world, it's ARM who is garnering the attention. The company this week demonstrated its first 32nm mobile chip. The Cortex processor is built on IBM's high-k metal-gate technology and boasts reduced power consumption to the tune of 10 percent, ARM says.
Developers will have access to the 32nm Cortex design starting this year, but ARM doesn't expect production to ramp up until sometime in 2010. And while no potential customers for the new chip have yet been named, ARM regularly licenses its chip designs to several processor makers, including Samsung, Freescale, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. Because Samsung supplies the current iPhone CPU, there has already been speculation that ARM's new 32nm chip could be used in the next generation of iPhones.
"This silicon proof is a key step in our roadmap to demonstrate the technical synergy between leading ARM processors, ARM Physical IP, and the Common Platform process technology that delivers best-in-class performance, lowest power consumption and rapid time-to-market,"said Ian Drew, EVP Marketing, ARM. "It also shows that we are fully committed to affording our Partners the earliest possible opportunity to deploy ARM technology, in particular the Cortex-A9 processor and future processors, on the 32/28nm process."
ARM's new chip comes as part of a previously signed three-way deal with IBM, Samsung, and Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor to not only develop low-power 32nm chips, but 28nm as well.