ARM IP and Intel Custom Foundry collaboration: A new era for premium mobile design

Today we have exciting news: ARM and Intel Custom Foundry have announced an agreement to accelerate the development and implementation of ARM SoCs on Intel’s 10nm process. Specifically, we are making ARM’s Artisan® Physical IP available on the process as part of an ongoing collaboration.

I’m excited about our collaboration with Intel Custom Foundry for several reasons including:

  • The benefits to our partners by expanding the ARM ecosystem to offer more manufacturing choices for premium mobile and consumer SoCs.
  • Intel Custom Foundry will give its customers access to world-class physical IP and ARM implementation solutions.
  • All the major foundries now offer Artisan platforms, further confirming it as the industry standard for physical IP.

Today’s announcement represents what we expect to be a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership with Intel Custom Foundry.

One of the strengths and differentiators of the Artisan platform is the availability of ARM core-optimized IP—what we call ARM POP™ technology. The value of POP technology for an ARM core on the Intel 10nm process is tremendous, as it will allow for quicker knowledge transfer, enabling customers to lower their risk in implementing the most advanced ARM cores on Intel’s leading-edge process technology. Additionally, POP technology enables silicon partners to accelerate the implementation and tape-outs of their ARM-based designs. The initial POP IP will be for two future advanced ARM Cortex-A processor cores designed for mobile computing applications in either ARM big.LITTLE™ or stand-alone configurations.

Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), I had the pleasure of joining Intel Senior Fellow, Mark Bohr and Intel Custom Foundry Vice President Zane Ball’s Technical Insights session to announce our collaboration.  We discussed how the partnership will accelerate design enablement for future devices in the premium mobile market including smartphones and tablets. Read more about Zane’s perspective on our collaboration.

Ecosystem enablement

You probably glanced at the headline and thought “ARM and Intel collaborating…what?” Despite press stories, Intel and ARM have worked together for years to help enable the ecosystem, and this is just the latest milestone in that long-standing relationship. I see it as a natural evolution of the design ecosystem: ARM is a leader in processor and physical design, and  Intel Custom Foundry is a leading integrated device manufacturer. This combination is a win-win for customers.  It reinforces an ARM tenet throughout our 25-year history: To continuously enable choice and innovation inside the ARM ecosystem.

This agreement provides access to another key manufacturing source and expands the EDA and IP ecosystem to ensure interoperability and a shorter on-ramp for early leading-edge process technology.

I’ve enjoyed broad experience in this industry, working in semiconductors, EDA and now IP. I love the relentless competition but I also am wowed by moments of cooperation that redefine the industry landscape. This agreement is one example of that and will deliver immense value to the design ecosystem and ultimately to our partners. ARM is committed to Intel’s success as a world-class custom foundry at 10nm. We stand behind our mutual customers when they make that choice.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  • Well there is that little word 'premium' in the title

  • We never get something for nothing , even in the world of free this is not cheapest. This is still one more step to try to impose something. but what  question is there...

  • You want some thoughts? Okay. Yes very good for ARM partners wanting to produce chips. Not so good for the other foundries but it won't stop them growing now - if it had happened when smartphones were taking off and Intel had provided a good foundry service it would have put a real damper on the foundries and made a nice earner for Intel. And it might have enabled them to slow ARM's encroachment into servers. I don't see any problems like that with it now. It uses intel's great strength in process and I think it should prove very fruitful for them if they can provide a good foundry interface. The future will need lots of different devices and foundries should do well out of it.