SEOUL, Korea (AVING) -- <Visual News> Samsung Electronics announced the industry's fastest mobile processor core implementation of the dual-issue ARM Cortex-A8 processor architecture in 45nm low-power, low leakage process technology. This Cortex-A8 implementation, code-named Hummingbird, delivers 2000DMIPS at 1GHz.
The Hummingbird comes with 32KB each of data and instruction caches, an L2 cache, the size of which can be customized, and an ARM NEON multi-media extension. Performance and power consumption of the Hummingbird have been validated in silicon. Samsung is currently developing standard mobile SoC products using this new core.
To achieve a 1GHz operating clock speed in 45nm LP process, the Hummingbird utilizes a semi-custom design flow which involves custom designed circuit/memory structures, a set of customized primitive cells, and the enhanced RTL FastCore and Fast14 high-speed domino logic from Intrinsity in its implementation.
"The biggest challenge in mobile processor core design and implementation is to achieve high clock speed performance while keeping the power consumption low," said Dr. Jae Cheol Son, Vice President, SOC Platform Development, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics.
According to Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, "The market for both stand-alone and embedded advanced cellphone application processors was $2 billion in 2008, and is expected to grow at 25 percent CAGR to the $6.1 billion level in 2013, with some growth even in recessionary 2009. Our forecast is that ARM's Cortex-A family could account for about half of the total market for mobile application processors by 2013, since ARM already has more than a dozen Cortex-A processor family licensees."
Intrinsity's Coretex-A8 processor-based FastCore embedded core is cycle-accurate and Boolean equivalent to the original Cortex-A8 RTL specification. While most ARM processor cores are implemented with synthesized static logic and compiled SRAMs, the Hummingbird achieves the exceptional 1GHz clock rate in Samsung's 45nm LP process technology through the use of a semi-custom design flow which strategically applies Intrinsity's proprietary Fast14 1-of-n domino logic (NDL) technology as macros in the timing-critical paths of the Cortex-A8 RTL core. NDL provides low latency conversion between domino logic and static logic which allows NDL to be seamlessly applied to a standard cell synthesized design. NDL provides gates which are 25 to 50 percent faster than static logic gates.