Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Mar 2012 16:17 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The Cortex -M0+ architecture is designed to provide chip-makers with the means to build microcontrollers that require "ultra low power" but are capable of 32-bit processing. Arm says it went back to the drawing board to create the new processor cores which measure 1mm by 1mm in size. It says the microcontrollers should draw around a third less energy than their predecessors, which only offered 8 and 16-bit capabilities.
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1mm x 1mm sounds way too big
by Nicholas Blachford on Tue 13th Mar 2012 19:32 UTC
Nicholas Blachford
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think your scale is a bit off. The M0+ is a lot smaller than 1mm x 1mm. I expect on a modern process it's questionable if it'll even be visible to the naked eye.

ARM's Mali-55 GPU was 1mm x 1mm, and that was a couple of years back now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 1mm x 1mm sounds way too big
by cb88 on Tue 13th Mar 2012 19:37 in reply to "1mm x 1mm sounds way too big"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

indeed at 12k gates its more likely 1um^2 lol

Reply Parent Score: 1

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

1um^2 is roughly an area of a single gate (assuming a reasonably new CMOS process and not too complex gate, flip-flop's are several times larger). But since 1mm^2 = 1e+6 * 1um^2 there is plenty of room for gates.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: 1mm x 1mm sounds way too big
by viton on Wed 14th Mar 2012 00:48 in reply to "1mm x 1mm sounds way too big"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

I expect on a modern process it's questionable if it'll even be visible to the naked eye.

Even if it's so small, so you can't see it, core must be connected to external pins somehow.

Edited 2012-03-14 00:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

bdpedersen Member since:
2012-03-14

Indeed - most modern chips are pad-limited not logic-limited. With the current standard BGA fine pitch (0.4 mm) you would have at most 9 bumps on 1x1mm which is hardly useful for a 32 bit uC.

Reply Parent Score: 2