ARM and Synopsys tape out Mali graphics chip on 20nm
ARM and Synopsys say they have taped out the first ARM Mali-T658 design using a 20nm process technology, ARM Artisan physical IP and shader functionality.
The resulting RTL-through-sign-off design flow includes double-patterning support throughout.
“Mali GPUs are found in most Android tablets and smart digital TVs currently shipping, and are one of the most popular graphics solutions for smartphones and optimizing GPUs for selected end devices is essential,” said Pete Hutton, general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM.
The Mali-T600 series includes five members (Mali-T604, Mali-T624, Mali-T628, Mali-T658 and Mali-T678).
This combined functionality brings additional hardware complexity which is further compounded by the new double-patterning requirements introduced by 20nm and below technologies.
Smaller process technologies, such as 20nm and below, require a highly integrated design flow for fast closure while delivering optimal results.
The collaboration used the Galaxy Implementation Platform to produce a methodology tuned for the Mali GPU with ARM Artisan physical IP in 20nm.
Primary tools used included Synopsys’ Design Compiler synthesis, Formality formal verification, DFTMAX and TetraMAX test, IC Compiler layout, StarRC extraction and PrimeTime timing analysis and signoff.
In addition, IC Validator In-Design capabilities for physical verification were used during the implementation process to speed design closure.
“Twenty-nanometer and smaller process technologies introduce new complexity requiring early and deep technical collaboration among semiconductor ecosystem partners,” said Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager, Implementation Group, Synopsys.