Imagination Technologies, a leading designer of graphics processing technologies for mobile devices, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s No. 1 contract maker of chips, on Monday announced the next phase of their technology collaboration. In a bid to enable its customers to use the latest process technologies, Imagination will create designs of its latest graphics cores compatible with TSMC’s 16nm FinFET tech.
Imagination will work closely with TSMC to develop highly optimised reference design flows and silicon implementations using Imagination’s PowerVR series-6 GPUs (in addition to previous-gen offerings as well as MIPS microprocessors) combined with TSMC’s advanced process technologies, including 16nm FinFET process technology. Imagination and TSMC R&D teams will also work together to create fully characterised reference system designs, utilizing high bandwidth memory standards and TSMC’s 3D IC technology capability to demonstrate new levels of system performance and capabilities while retaining all the essential characteristics of power, silicon area and small package footprint demanded by high volume mobile system-on-chips (SoCs).
“Many of our licensees rely on TSMC to provide them with leading edge low power, high performance silicon foundry capabilities. Through advanced projects initiated under this partnership, Imagination and TSMC are working together to showcase how SoCs will transform the future of mobile and embedded products. We are delighted to announce our strengthening relationship with TSMC, and look forward to seeing the fruits of these projects benefiting our many mutual customers,” said Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination.
As GPUs increasingly dominate the area, power and performance of next generation SoCs and the options available to designers using advanced silicon processes become more complex, design flows and libraries need to be optimally tuned to enable design teams to achieve the best possible performance, power consumption and silicon area in ever more demanding timescales. To address these challenges, Imagination and TSMC are investigating how the characteristics of the latest processes, such as 16nm FinFET, influence the design of high performance IP-based SoCs.
“Just as memory drove silicon processes in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and CPUs drove processes further in the late ‘90s and ‘00s, high performance mobile GPUs for graphics and compute applications are one of the major drivers for our most advanced process technologies. We are pleased to be working with Imagination, an established leader in mobile and embedded GPU IP, to understand how best to use PowerVR GPUs to work with us to optimize future generations of our most advanced process technologies, and advanced system design techniques,” said Cliff Hou, vice president of R&D at TSMC.