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Open-Silicon Collaborates with GLOBALFOUNDRIES on 28nm Low-Power Solutions

Low-Power Device Showcases Advanced Technologies for Mobile Applications

MILPITAS, Calif.: Open-Silicon, Inc. announced today it achieved a key milestone in demonstrating its low-power design capability on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm super low-power (SLP) technology. Utilizing Open-Silicon’s PowerMAX™ and VariMAX™ low-power design technologies, Open-Silicon successfully taped out an ultra-low power ASIC on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm-SLP technology. In the device, variation and leakage are controlled through the combination of Open-Silicon’s body biasing technology and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ high-k metal gate (HKMG) process. The low-power, high-gate-density chip is ideal for mobile applications such as smart phones, where power conservation is necessary for battery life and where high-speed processors are critical to the user’s application experience.

Designed and developed using Open-Silicon’s 28nm methodology, the new ASIC benefits from Open-Silicon’s MAX Technologies™ including VariMAX for body biasing to manage silicon process variation and provide leakage control. Biasing technologies are common in the standard product space for mobile devices due to their power reduction and process yield benefits, yet rarely offered in the ASIC space. Open-Silicon’s VariMAX technology addresses this industry shortfall by offering state-of-the-art biasing control combined with open-market standard cell libraries and a GLOBALFOUNDRIES reference flow.

Open-Silicon joined GLOBALFOUNDRIES partner ecosystem, GLOBALSOLUTIONS, when it was launched in June 2010. The open and collaborative ecosystem leverages the best resources from around the world to deliver optimized solutions. The GLOBALSOLUTIONS ecosystem partners are evaluated and certified to meet specific service and quality criteria, helping to reduce risk and increase the probability of first-time-right designs.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm-SLP targets low-power applications including cellular base band, application processors, portable consumer and wireless connectivity devices. 28nm-SLP utilizes HKMG and presents the same dense routing of 28nm HP, but is a lower cost technology in terms of the performance elements utilized to boost carrier mobilities. The 28nm-SLP transistors offer up to 40 percent increased speed at the same leakage relative to 40nm-LP with a 40 percent reduction in energy/switch (at nominal operating voltages of 1.0V for 28nm-SLP and 1.1V for 40nm-LP, and up to a 50 percent speed increase and power savings with overdrive: 1.1V for 28nm-SLP and 1.2V for 40nm-LP).

“As geometries continue to decrease, technologies like VariMAX and PowerMAX increase in value by providing additional power reduction or variation management that otherwise would be unobtainable. Body biasing, in particular, was found to be extremely effective when combined with HKMG technology to manage standby-mode leakage. Proving this low-power technology in GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm process gives ASIC customers the same state-of-the-art process technology and leakage-reduction methodologies that IC standard product vendors benefit from in mobile products,” said Taher Madraswala, vice president of engineering, Open-Silicon, Inc.

“With red-hot demand and steep competition in the mobile market, designers face increased challenges as they balance the need for increased functionality with a shrinking power budget, while delivering products on time in tight market windows. For those customers looking for a proven design services partner to aid them in this process, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is pleased to support Open-Silicon, a key partner in our GLOBALSOLUTIONS ecosystem, in its low-power initiative and to enable its ability to demonstrate solutions in silicon on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm-SLP technology,” said Srinivas Nori, director of ASIC solutions at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

About Open-Silicon, Inc.

Open-Silicon is a leading semiconductor company focused on SoC realization for traditional ASIC, develop-to-spec, and derivative ICs. In support of the industry trend towards collaborative engineering and design-lite, Open-Silicon offers SoC architecture, system design, physical design, low-level software, and high-quality semiconductor manufacturing services with one of the world’s broadest partner ecosystems for IC development. For more information, visit Open-Silicon’s website at or call 408-240-5700.