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Sep 5, 2012

GlobalFoundries Samples Adapteva 64-Core RISC Processors in 28nm Technology




The 28nm manufacturing technology is now officially online and is making very advanced microprocessors that show amazing characteristics and performance. Many were wondering if GlobalFoundries’ 28nm manufacturing capacities were actually making something other than test chips, and the answer we got today is very impressive, to say the least.

The foundry is now manufacturing 64-core RISC microprocessors for American company Adapteva, XbitLabs reports. Adapteva is a privately held company founded back in 2008 in Lexington, Massachusetts, that is mainly focusing on bringing 10 x advancement in floating point processing energy efficiency for the mobile device market. This is the first company to announce a design that is able to put 1,000 processing cores on a single chip and, in 2011, it managed to present a newer design that was able to put 4096 processing cores on a single chip. The design is RISC-like but uses a custom instruction set architecture (ISA) that has direct memory access with no other hierarchy or caches involved. The current version of the Epiphany processor is called Epiphany IV and it was announced back in October 2011, with a tape-out scheduled for January 2012.

The 64-core Epiphany IV processor has a 800 MHz operating frequency and offers more than 50GHz of achievable programmable performance while consuming less than two watts. Peak performance of the Epiphany IV is around 100GFLOPS and the peak core energy efficiency is 72GFLOPS/W at 500MHz operating frequency. The processors are made in GlobarFoundries’ 28nm-SLP manufacturing process that offers the fastest time to market (TTM) and is cost-oriented, offering low to medium performance and enabling frequencies reaching a maximum of 1500 MHz.

Adapteva Epiphany IV 64-Core RISC Processor
Image credits to Adapteva

GlobalFoundires 28nm Manufacturing Chart
Image credits to xbitlabs

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