ARM’s Hercules & Samsung’s 5nm LPE Node Could Allow SoCs Makers in 2020 to Achieve up to 20% Power Savings


A collaboration between ARM, Synopsys, and Samsung is expected to give smartphone silicon makers, as well as average consumers, access to more efficient SoCs, resulting in capable mobile devices in the future. Thanks to specific tools and IP, next-generation chipsets based on ARM’s upcoming Hercules cores using Samsung’s highly efficient 5nm LPE process will be able to deliver a variety of benefits down the road. Unfortunately, those perks are most likely going to be witnessed next year.

Samsung’s 5nm LPE Node Expected to Employ Use of More EUV Layers to Increase Logic Efficiency and Reduce Power Consumption of Next-Generation SoCs

Mobile SoC design firms ranging from Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, and others could take advantage of the tools and IP to develop next-gen processors to be used in future smartphones and tablets. According to Anandtech, Synopsys’ tools are certified by Samsung Foundry for its 5nm LPE process. Additional tools such as Fusion Design Platform and QuickStart Implementation Kit have been included, with their goal being to optimize performance and efficiency for designs made on Samsung’s next-generation manufacturing node.

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As for ARM, its Artisan Physical and POP IP are specifically designed for Samsung’s 5nm LPE technology. This healthy collaboration existing between three companies should allow companies to take advantage of the Hercules cores and base their chipsets on it. For example, Huawei’s Kirin 990 employs the use of ARM’s Cortex-A76 cores for performance, and it looks like next year, the Kirin 1000 could be based on the Cortex-A77 or even a Cortex-A78 if that’s what ARM intends on calling its ‘Hercules’. The Kirin 1000 has been rumored to be made on TSMC’s 5nm process, but it’s too early to comment which foundry Huawei’s HiSilicon division will tap in 2020.

5nm LPE Node’s Benefits?

Samsung’s improved technology will reportedly provide up to 25 percent higher logic efficiency and provide SoC design firms to lower power consumption of their chipsets by 20 percent while delivering the same performance. Side by side, a 10 percent performance increase could also be on the cards while utilizing the same amount of power. In short, both ARM’s Hercules and Samsung’s 5nm LPE stand on a ‘leading-edge-process’ status and in addition to being used in mobile phones, other applications such as automotive, 5G and AI is where the collaboration could greatly expand in the future.

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