ARM, TSMC create multicore test chip on 10nm FinFET process

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ARM has announced a multicore test chip featuring the 64bit ARM v8-A processor. Validation of the test chip – which was manufactured on TSMC’s 10FinFET process and taped out in Q4 2015 – is said to be an important milestone in the two companies’ continuing collaboration

“Efficiency is a primary guiding principle in SoC design for premium mobile applications, due to increasing demands on device performance,” said Pete Hutton, pictured, ARM’s president of product groups. “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.”

The test chip is the result of ARM and TSMC’s commitment to developing advanced processes and builds on the initial 10FinFET partnership announced in October 2014. Simulation benchmarks are said to show ‘impressive’ power and efficiency gains relative to TSMC’s 16FinFET+ process.

“Our partnership with ARM offers our ecosystem rapid advances in process and IP and accelerates customer product development cycles,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, TSMC’s vice president of R&D. “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 fully validated solution includes IP, EDA tools, design flow and methodology to enable new customer tape outs on TSMC’s most advanced FinFET process.