ARM and TSMC have announced that they have completed the tape-out of the first ARM Cortex-A57 processor. The processor was taped-out on TSMC's 16nm FinFET technology. ARM says that this new processor is its highest performing and is designed to extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing devices.
The processor will eventually find its way into high-end computer, tablet, and server products according to ARM. TSMC and ARM say that this is the first milestone in the cooperation between the two companies to optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series using the FinFET process technology. From RTL to tape-out of the new processor was completed in six months according to the companies.
During the process, ARM and TSMC used ARM Artisan physical IP, TSMC memory macros, and RDA technologies that were enabled by the TSMC Open Innovation Platform design ecosystem. Through the collaboration between the two companies optimized, power efficient Cortex-A57 processors and libraries were created to support early customer implementations on 16nm FinFET for high-performance ARM-based SoCs.
Neither of the two companies have offered details on when we might expect to see Cortex-A57 processor equipped devices come to market. One interesting tidbit about TSMC is that the company produced 15.1 million 8-inch equivalent wafers in 2012. The company is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry.