World’s First Multicore Test Chip on TSMC’s 10FinFET Is Here

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ARM recently announced the first multicore, 64-bit ARM v8-A processor test chip based on TSMC’s 10FinFET process technology. Simulation benchmarks show power and efficiency gains relative to TSMC’s 16FinFET+ process technology, which is currently used to implement chips powering today’s smartphones.

test chip architecture

The successful validation of the test chip is an important milestone in ARM and TSMC’s ongoing collaboration. The complete design enablement solution includes IP, EDA tools, design flow and methodology to enable new customer tape-outs on TSMC’s most advanced FinFET process. In addition, SoC designers can use the foundation IP building blocks (standard cell libraries, embedded memories and standard I/Os) to develop competitive SoCs for the better performance with low power and area.

“Efficiency is a primary guiding principle in SoC design for premium mobile applications due to increasing demands on device performance,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups, ARM. “TSMC’s 16FFLL+ process and ARM Cortex processors have already set new standards for efficiency. Our collaboration with TSMC on 10FinFET ensures SoC-wide efficiency that will allow our silicon partners even greater room to innovate while staying within strict power budgets.”

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“Our partnership with ARM offers our ecosystem rapid advances in process and IP and accelerates customer product development cycles,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, vice president, R&D, TSMC. “Together, we are defining processor technologies that continue to propel the mobile market. Our latest endeavour, enabling ARM processors on TSMC 10FinFET technology, is transformative for the end user experience across premium mobile and a diverse range of consumer electronic goods.”

The latest test chip is the result of ARM and TSMC’s collaboration towards advanced process technologies, building on the initial 10FinFET partnership announced in October 2014. Mutual ARM and TSMC silicon partners have also benefitted from early access to ARM Artisan physical IP and 16nm FinFET+ tape-outs of the ARM Cortex-A72 processor, the high-performance processor powering many of today’s compute devices.

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