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Thread: TSMC & ARM Successfully Tape Out First 16nm Cortex-A57 Processor

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    TSMC & ARM Successfully Tape Out First 16nm Cortex-A57 Processor


    The rapidity with which our tech industry continues to advance is beginning to become downright scary. While we are excitedly discussing current 28nm Cortex A-15 Exynos 5 Octa chips, TSMC and ARM just successfully taped out a new 16nm FinFET based 64-bit Cortex-A57 processor. This new processor promises enormous advantages in terms of performance and battery efficiency. Here's the full press release,

    HSINCHU, Taiwan and CAMBRIDGE, England, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ARM and TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced the first tape-out of an ARM® Cortex™-A57 processor on FinFET process technology. The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products. This is the first milestone in the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series on TSMC FinFET process technologies. The two companies cooperated in the implementation from RTL to tape-out in six months using ARM Artisan® physical IP, TSMC memory macros, and EDA technologies enabled by TSMC's Open Innovation Platform® (OIP) design ecosystem.

    ARM and TSMC's collaboration produces optimized, power-efficient Cortex-A57 processors and libraries to support early customer implementations on 16nm FinFET for high-performance, ARM technology-based SoCs.

    "This first ARM Cortex-A57 processor implementation paves the way for our mutual customers to leverage the performance and power efficiency of 16nm FinFET technology," said Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. "The joint effort of ARM, TSMC, and TSMC's OIP design ecosystem partners demonstrates the strong commitment to provide industry-leading technology for customer designs to benefit from our latest 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, big.LITTLE™ processing and ARM POP™ IP across a wide variety of market segments."

    "Our multi-year, multi-node collaboration with ARM continues to deliver advanced technologies to enable market-leading SoCs across mobile, server, and enterprise infrastructure applications," said Dr. Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President of R&D. "This achievement demonstrates that the next-generation ARMv8 processor is FinFET-ready for TSMC's advanced technology."

    This announcement highlights the enhanced and intensified collaboration between ARM and TSMC. The test chip was implemented using a commercially available 16nm FinFET tool chain and design services provided by the OIP ecosystem and ARM Connected Community partners. This successful collaborative milestone is confirmation of the roles that TSMC's OIP and ARM's Connected Community play in promoting innovation for the semiconductor design industry.
    Supposedly, this new mobile chip technology is not far off from actual production modules. Furthermore, this new tech heralds as much as triple the performance of current chips and/or five times better battery life usage. It's pretty amazing what can be accomplished when two competitors come together to collaborate. The future keeps getting so bright, shades may not be enough!
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