ARM and TSMC Tape-Out First Working 20nm Processor

ARM and TSMC Show Off 20nm Cortex-A15 MPCore Chip

by Anton Shilov
10/18/2011 | 07:47 AM

ARM and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company on Tuesday said that they had taped out the first 20nm ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor. The two companies completed the implementation from RTL to tape out in six months using TSMC’s open innovation platform (OIP) 20nm design ecosystem.

 

Building on this tape out, ARM will optimize its physical IP technology to specific TSMC 20nm process technologies for power, performance and area (PPA), driving the specification of the Cortex-A15 processor optimization pack (POP). TSMC’s 20nm process provides more than a two times performance increase over preceding generations.

The Cortex-A15-based SoCs will be designed for a wide variety of markets, including smartphone, tablet, mobile computing, high-end digital home, servers, and wireless infrastructure.

This announcement highlights the continued and increased collaboration between ARM and TSMC. The test chip was implemented using a commercially available 20nm tool chain and design services provided by the OIP ecosystem and ARM connected community partners.

“This first 20nm ARM Cortex-A15 tape out paves the way for the next generation of SoC integration and performance. We value the work carried out between ARM, TSMC and its design ecosystem partners to achieve this milestone. It is a strong testimonial of our mutual commitment to provide industry leading technology for advanced node designs. The combination of TSMC technology, the latest ARM Cortex-A15 processor and Artisan physical IP will help meet the increasing demand for high performance, energy-efficient consumer devices,” said Mike Inglis, executive vice president and general manager of processor division at ARM.