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TSMC Contracted as 64-Bit ARM Foundry for Next-gen Chips

ARM and TSMC entered in a "multi-year agreement" that "extends beyond 20 nm technology" to enable the production of next-gen ARMv8 processors that use FinFET transistors and leverages the ARM's Artisan IP that currently covers a production process range from 250 nm to 20 nm.

"By working closely with TSMC, we are able to leverage TSMC's ability to quickly ramp volume production of highly integrated SoCs in advanced silicon process technology," said Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, Processor and Physical IP Divisions, ARM. "The ongoing deep collaboration with TSMC provides customers earlier access to FinFET technology to bring high-performance, power-efficient products to market."

ARM unveiled its 64-bit architecture in October of last year and said that ARMv8 chips will be targeted ant consumer and enterprise markets. First processors are expected to be announced later this year, while prototype servers running the processors are unlikely to surface until early 2014. ARM said that TSMC's FinFET process "promises impressive speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction", which the company hopes will contribute to help solve the problem of scaling SoCs in high-volume production.

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  • boiler1990
    This could put a lot of pressure on Intel's Medfield and future mobile chips. TSMC is having issues with NVIDIA's and AMD's 28nm GPUs, but only because they are a fabrication foundry and are contracted to manufacture specified chip designs. If they work in-house with ARM, many of those problems will be erased since they're partnering manufacturing with development.
    Reply
  • boiler1990
    chromonoidI know this might sound idiotic but wasnt ARM a diferent architecture than x86 (x32)CPUs... i mean a few years back we had x86(x32) CPUs only and now x64 CPUs... i didnt know ARM was based on x86 i guess you learn something new everydayARM isn't based on x86, but they have implemented a 64-bit architecture in their newest designs, which is half of the point of the article. This could spawn an Atom direct competitor in the mobile space (beyond phones/tablets).
    Reply
  • wiinippongamer
    chromonoidI know this might sound idiotic but wasnt ARM a diferent architecture than x86 (x32)CPUs... i mean a few years back we had x86(x32) CPUs only and now x64 CPUs... i didnt know ARM was based on x86 i guess you learn something new everyday
    64-bit doesn't mean x86_64. And ARM isn't based on x86.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    chromonoidI know this might sound idiotic but wasnt ARM a diferent architecture than x86 (x32)CPUs... i mean a few years back we had x86(x32) CPUs only and now x64 CPUs... i didnt know ARM was based on x86 i guess you learn something new everyday
    32/64 bit is not an architecture like x86 is. x86's name comes from the Intel 8086 processor if I remember correctly which was the first processor to use the later named x86 instruction set architecture. All CPU architectures work with data and that data must be a certain length (or lengths). x86 is the architecture name for an ISA that currently uses either 32 bit code or 64 bit code for integer work. A CPU engineer who works or has worked with x86 CPUs would probably have better descriptions. Regardless, ARM uses 32 bit code for integer work and has been thinking about using 64 bit code. It seems that this is a large commitment into that conversion. However, ARM is not using an x86 ISA. ARM is a RISC implementation and x86 is a CISC implementation. They are fairly different, although how different, I'm not sure of. That would take a little research for which I'm too lazy and I don't think anyone here really cares anyway.
    Reply
  • ragenalien
    I care...
    Reply
  • maddy143ded
    chromonoidI know this might sound idiotic but wasnt ARM a diferent architecture than x86 (x32)CPUs... i mean a few years back we had x86(x32) CPUs only and now x64 CPUs... i didnt know ARM was based on x86 i guess you learn something new everydayread properly and learn,
    its better to remain silent and assumed as ignorant then prove you are ignorant by typing....
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    maddy143dedread properly and learn, its better to remain silent and assumed as ignorant then prove you are ignorant by typing....
    Not everyone is afraid of learning.
    Reply
  • QEFX
    ARM unveiled its 64-bit architecture in October of last year and said that ARMv8 chips will be targeted ant consumer and enterprise markets.
    Reply
  • deksman
    maddy143dedread properly and learn, its better to remain silent and assumed as ignorant then prove you are ignorant by typing....
    Actually, I think its a lot better to ask questions and learn in the process compared to keeping silent and assuming a person is ignorant overall because they stated something that is perceived as 'false information'.
    Furthermore, degrading someone on their lack of information is utterly pointless and counterproductive.
    Reply
  • teodoreh
    The real question here, is how much power this 64bit chip can deliver. Can it compete with Pentium G/ AMD A-series CPUs?
    Reply