Chip design company ARM and chip foundry TSMC have announced today that the Cortex-A57 has been taped-out and is ready for mass production. The 64-bit ARMv8 processor utilizes TSMC's 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, although the transistors are still 20nm.
Looking at the performance, the Cortex-A57 outperforms Cortex-A15 by up to three times without affecting battery life. However, if the performance is not that crucial to you, then the A57 offers a maximum of five times the battery life at the same speed as the A15.
The new chip is intended for future high-end tablets, smartphones and computers products. Unfortunately, no information has been given on the chip's launch.
ARM and TSMC Tape Out First ARM Cortex-A57 Processor on TSMC's 16nm FinFET Technology
Hsinchu, Taiwan and Cambridge, UK - April 2, 2013 - 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.