ARM and TSMC Tape-Out First ARM Cortex-A57 Processor on TSMC's 16nm FinFET Technology

TSMC Produces World’s First ARM Cortex-A57 64-Bit Chip Using 16nm FinFET Technology

by Anton Shilov
04/02/2013 | 07:01 PM

ARM and TSMC on Tuesday 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 for future applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products. Besides, this in the first ever processor made by TSMC using 16nm FinFET manufacturing tech.

 

“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. 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,” said Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager of processor division at ARM.

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.

“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. This achievement demonstrates that the next-generation ARMv8 processor is FinFET-ready for TSMC’s advanced technology,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, vice president of R&D at TSMC.

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.