ARM and UMC Target New 55nm ULP Physical IP Solution for Energy-Efficient Applications

CAMBRIDGE, U.K. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 17, 2015 — ARM and United Microelectronics Corporation ("UMC"), a leading global semiconductor foundry, today announced the availability of a new ARM® Artisan® physical IP solution on 55nm to accelerate the development of ARM processor-based embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

UMC’s 55nm ultra-low-power process (55ULP) technology is emerging as an ideal solution for energy-efficient IoT applications. The new physical IP offering will enable silicon design teams to speed up and simplify the bring-up of ARM-based SoC designs for IoT and other embedded applications.

For many energy-constrained applications, maximizing battery life is critical to a successful design. The Artisan physical IP platform will enhance the ULP technology from UMC with the intent to maximize power efficiency and reduce leakage. Features such as thick gate oxide support and long, multi-channel library options give SoC designers multiple tools to help optimize IoT applications.

“A complete physical IP foundation platform at UMC’s 55ULP process technology is vital in enabling low-power and cost-sensitive designs for emerging IoT applications,” said Will Abbey, general manager, physical design group, ARM. “By delivering libraries optimized with features targeting power-efficiency, ARM and UMC are providing SoC designers with a comprehensive set of new tools.”

“IoT silicon designers are being asked to deliver more highly integrated solutions within more power constrained environments, and more quickly,” said Shih-Chin Lin, senior director of IP development and design support division at UMC. “UMC possesses the foundry industry’s most robust IoT-specific 55nm technology platform, supported by highly comprehensive IP resources to address the “always on” ultra-low power requirements of IoT products. The addition of Artisan Physical IP to our 55ULP platform immediately increases the breadth of tools we can offer to reduce complexities and time to market.”

The Artisan libraries will support:

  • The 0.9v ultra-low voltage domain, thereby saving up to 44 percent dynamic power and 25 percent leakage power when compared to 1.2v domain operation
  • Multi-channel libraries with multiple Vts to offer SoC designers leakage and performance options. Long channel libraries can be used to further reduce leakage by up to 80 percent. The Power Management Kit (PMK) enables both active and leakage power mitigation.
  • Innovative thick gate oxide library will offer dramatically reduced leakage (350x lower than regular standard cells) for always ON cells. The ability of this library to interface with higher voltages (including battery voltages used in IoT devices) can also offer the advantage of negating the need for a voltage regulator.
  • Next generation high-density memory compilers offer multiple integrated power modes to save state while minimizing standby leakage. Utilizing these modes will allow SoC designers to realize up to 95 percent lower leakage when compared to regular standby.

The UMC-based physical IP for 55ULP is available immediately via ARM’s DesignStart portal.

About ARM

ARM (LSE: ARM, NASDAQ: ARMH.US) technology is at the heart of the world's most advanced digital products. Our technology enables the development of new markets and transformation of industries and society, invisibly creating opportunity for a globally connected population. We design scalable, energy-efficient processors and related technologies to deliver intelligence wherever computing happens, ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped more than 60 billion System on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies. Learn more and join the conversation at http://community.arm.com.

About UMC

UMC (NYSE:UMC, TWSE:2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that provides advanced technology and manufacturing for applications spanning every major sector of the IC industry. UMC’s robust foundry solutions allow chip designers to leverage the company’s leading-edge processes, which include volume production 28nm gate-last High-K/Metal Gate technology, mixed signal/RFCMOS, and a wide range of specialty technologies. Production is supported through 10 wafer manufacturing facilities that include 8-inch and 12-inch fabs located throughout Asia. The company employs over 16,000 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, mainland China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com.

Note from UMC Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements in the foregoing announcement are forward looking within the meaning of the U.S. Federal Securities laws, including statements about future outsourcing, wafer capacity, technologies, business relationships and market conditions. Investors are cautioned that actual events and results could differ materially from these statements as a result of a variety of factors, including conditions in the overall semiconductor market and economy; acceptance and demand for products from UMC; and technological and development risks. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in UMC’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its registration statements and reports on Forms F-1, F-3, F-6 and 20-F and 6-K, in each case as amended. UMC does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.

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