Farmers think and plan very carefully to invest in their future. A farmer who makes the wrong planting decision, waters incorrectly, or improperly manages his fields can lose a crop cycle. So a farmer must anticipate future trends in crop prices, weather patterns, seed availability and plant accordingly. As a result, a farmer plants his seeds very deliberately with the intention of reaping rewards in the next harvest if he planned and invested correctly.
Now, I get to the semiconductor industry connection.
Here, investment in technology today will bear fruit several years into the future.
ARM has been making those investments in advanced implementation technologies for years. Working with partners such as GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM and Samsung, we made aggressive, early investments in silicon experimentation, full chip implementation proof points, and early Physical IP development, starting back in 2008. Now, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor; for example with last year’s successful rollout of the Samsung® Exynos™ line of application processors. In turn, these impressive chips are powering exciting new applications such as Google’s Samsung Chromebook, the Samsung Galaxy line and many others.
Thus, the work we do today is not so different than farming for the next wave of amazing applications for 2015 and beyond. ARM and our partners have not slowed the pace of our early investment in future crops; in fact, we are accelerating it. Last month, ARM, Samsung and Cadence announced the most aggressive early test chip development ever by the partners with the tape out of the BlueFin test chip containing an ARM Cortex™-A7 processor and other important technology experiments on Samsung’s 14nm LPE FinFET technology. It was far and away the most complex test chip ever developed this early in the process lifecycle, which promises to accelerate even faster how rapidly the seeds will turn into valuable plants for the industry.
As a member of the team that was actively driving our early collaboration with the Common Platform partners on 32nm and 28nm technology, I’m gratified to see the successful end products now reaching the market from this collaboration.
Today, we continue to look forward to the growing diversity of applications being demanded by the market. Of course, there is an insatiable need for more performance and energy efficiency at the high end of the mobile market. In addition, we see very rapid growth in the lower-cost smartphone segment where there is a drive to bring these same technologies to a far lower price point and thus enable a much broader market in the developing world. We also are seeing rapid growth in the interest to proliferate these technologies into new markets like low-power servers where a number of partners are beginning to offer differentiated solutions that are optimized for these applications.
We feel passionate about driving these markets forward and continue to invest with our silicon partners and our foundry partners so we can collectively progress these exciting new opportunities. At the upcoming Common Platform Technology Forum on February 5 in Santa Clara, Dr. Dipesh Patel, EVP and general manager of the Physical IP Division at ARM, will discuss a number of the important market trends I referenced and describe the importance of our continued collective early investment in tomorrow’s technology.
See, I’ll bet you didn’t realize how many farmers there were in the semiconductor industry!
John Heinlein, Ph.D. is Vice President of Marketing, Physical IP Division, ARM, where he is responsible for directing both the Physical IP roadmap and engagements with key strategic customers. John has worked extensively with semiconductor leaders worldwide for many years, with a special focus on Asia. In his current role his goal is to drive adoption of ARM Physical IP across the SOC design community. Prior to joining ARM, John was with Transmeta Corporation for nearly 11 years.He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. John is an avid snowboarder and triathlete and former scuba diving instructor (he once swam with a whale shark!).
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