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GlobalFoundries and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics this week announced that Rockchip’s next-generation mobile processors are ramping to production on GlobalFoundries’ 28nm high-K metal gate (HKMG) process technology. Based on a multi-core ARM Cortex-A9 design, the RK3188 and RK3168 chips are optimized for tomorrow’s low-cost tablets that require long-lasting battery life.

The combination of Rockchip’s design and GlobalFoundries’ 28nm HKMG process technology resulted in a low-cost tablet system-on-chip (SoC) capable of operating at up to 1.80GHz performance, while still maintaining the power efficiency expected by mobile device users. The chips began sampling to OEMs in early 2013 and are now ramping to support a wide range of manufacturers. Specifications of the chips are revealed below.

“We have chosen GlobalFoundries as our strategic source partner of 28nm HKMG because their state-of-the-art 28nm HKMG process has allowed us to ramp our products with very high yields in a relatively short timeframe. This partnership is a true demonstration of GlobalFoundries’ unique approach to collaborative device manufacturing,” said Chen Feng, vice president of Rockchip.

GlobalFoundries’ 28nm-SLP technology is ideally suited for the next generation of smart mobile devices, enabling designs with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, lower standby power and longer battery life. The technology is based on GlobalFoundries’ “gate first” approach to HKMG, which has been in volume production for more than two years. The technology offers a combination of performance, power-efficiency and cost that are ideally suited for the cost-sensitive mainstream mobile market.

“At GlobalFoundries, we are constantly seeking opportunities to offer our customers innovative silicon solutions to help them get the most benefits from their SoC designs. Our partnership with Rockchip is a great example of how early collaboration can result in better performance and power characteristics with reduced time-to-market. We are excited to see Rockchip successfully leveraging this technology on our production-proven HKMG process,” said Mike Noonen, executive vice president of marketing, sales, design and quality at GlobalFoundries.

RockChip RK3188 mobile application processor features four ARM Cortex-A9 general purpose processors operating at up to 1.60GHz; ARM Mali-400 GPU with four clusters, up to 600MHz clock-speed (OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1) and dedicated 2D processor (with support for two display panels with 2048*1536 resolution). The chip supports DDR3, DDR3L and LPDDR2 memory multi-format video decoder (1080p@60fps), video encoding for H.264 and VP8 (1080p@30fps), 60bits ECC for MLC NAND with 16bits data widths to improve performance and so on.

RockChip RK3168 mobile application processor features two ARM Cortex-A9 general purpose processors operating at up to 1.60GHz; PowerVR SGX540 (OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and OpenVG 1.1) and dedicated 2D processor (with support for two display panels with 1920*1080 resolution). The chip supports DDR3, DDR3L and LPDDR2 memory multi-format video decoder (1080p@60fps), video encoding for H.264 and VP8 (1080p@30fps), 60bits ECC for MLC NAND with 16bits data widths to improve performance and so on.

Tags: Rockchip, Globalfoundries, Semiconductor, 28nm, ARM, Cortex

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