Intel Foundry and Arm announce multigeneration SoC design collaboration

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Intel Foundry Services (IFS) and Arm have announced a multigeneration agreement to enable chip designers to build low-power compute system-on-chips (SoCs) on the Intel 18A process.

The collaboration will focus on mobile SoC designs first, but allow for potential design expansion into automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), data centre, aerospace and government applications.

Arm customers designing next-generation mobile SoCs will benefit from leading-edge Intel 18A process technology, which delivers new transistor technologies for improved power and performance, and from IFS’s extensive manufacturing footprint both in Europe and in the US.

“There is growing demand for computing power driven by the digitization of everything, but until now fabless customers have had limited options for designing around the most advanced mobile technology,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corporation. “Intel’s collaboration with Arm will expand the market opportunity for IFS and open up new options and approaches for any fabless company that wants to access best-in-class CPU IP and the power of an open system foundry with leading-edge process technology.”

“Arm’s secure, energy-efficient processors are at the heart of hundreds of billions of devices and the planet’s digital experiences,” added Rene Haas, CEO of Arm. “As the demands for compute and efficiency become increasingly complex, our industry must innovate on many new levels. Arm’s collaboration with Intel enables IFS as a critical foundry partner for our customers as we deliver the next generation of world-changing products built on Arm.”

As part of its IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel is investing in leading-edge manufacturing capacity with significant expansions in the US and the EU, to serve sustained long-term demand for chips.

This collaboration with Arm will enable a more balanced global supply chain for foundry customers working in mobile SoC design on Arm-based CPU cores. By unlocking Arm’s compute portfolio and IP on Intel process technology, Arm partners will be able to take advantage of Intel’s open system foundry model, which goes beyond traditional wafer fabrication to include packaging, software and chiplets.

IFS and Arm will undertake design technology co-optimisation (DTCO), in which chip design and process technologies are optimised together to improve power, performance, area and cost (PPAC) for Arm cores targeting Intel 18A process technology.

Intel 18A delivers two breakthrough technologies, PowerVia for optimal power delivery and RibbonFET gate all around (GAA) transistor architecture for optimal performance and power. IFS and Arm will develop a mobile reference design, allowing demonstration of the software and system knowledge for foundry customers.

With the industry’s evolution from DTCO to system technology co-optimisation (STCO), Arm and IFS said that they will work together to optimise the platforms from applications and software through package and silicon, leveraging Intel’s unique open system foundry model.