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ARM and TSMC successfuly tape out the first Cortex-A57 processor, using 16nm tech

Posted: , by Daniel P.


ARM and TSMC successfuly tape out the first Cortex-A57 processor, using 16nm tech
Forget Cortex-A15 processor cores, as found in Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa processor for the Galaxy S4, and partially in Qualcomm's newest Snapdragons, like the 600 in HTC One.

The British mobile chip designer from ARM Holdings, and the TSMC foundry announced they have successfully taped out the first 64-bit Cortex-A57 processor, made using TSMC's novel 16nm FinFET production tech, after a cooperation in the 64-bit realm with the 20nm process that started last year. The project completion took just six months, and ARM says this is their most powerful processor yet.

When exactly are we to see the monster silicon in tablets and other mobile computing gear remains to be told, but given the pace with which things are happening in the mobile realm, this moment shouldn't be far off. We can only salivate at the possibilities such powerful processors will bring to devices, as ARM says it is even suitable to cluster up for servers, so how about them tablets with Cortex-A57 cores? TSMC was rumored to supply Apple with some 16nm FinFET chips for a "breakthrough product," so we might be seeing ARM's new baby in future iPads or even Macs at some point.

Moreover, after the report today that TSMC is ahead of schedule with the 20nm process, now comes the 16nm die shrink, which is sure to put some pressure on Samsung, whose foundry allegedly struggles with the 28nm production of the Exynost 5 Octa still.

Press Release

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posted on 02 Apr 2013, 06:49 13

1. tusshharish (Posts: 342; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)

great.........suberb.............cant describe in one word.....

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 06:55 12

2. aryanfr1 (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)

Holly s**t! now Intel will have make serious moves and new strategy.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 08:54 8

15. dickwyn (Posts: 601; Member since: 07 May 2012)

no matter what intel still makes better processors period

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 12:13

18. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 345; Member since: 07 May 2012)

well said take note dual core vs quad core

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 19:06

21. ph00ny (Posts: 606; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Dual core vs quad core doesn't mean much when comparing different architecture. If manufacturers wanted to boost scores, they could have done it in the expense of power efficiency.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 13:30

20. Dr.Phil (Posts: 924; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

I will say I am very confident within the next year Intel will be making a big splash in mobile processors. I don't know if I would necessarily buy an Intel phone this year (although their outlook for Q4 looks very promising), but I think I would definitely consider buying one next year.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 06:55 4

3. VJo003 (Posts: 334; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)


posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:01 3

4. kamejoko (Posts: 113; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)


posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:16

7. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1372; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

news from a year ago ...nice try

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:21 6

9. kamejoko (Posts: 113; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)

Samsung Delivers Strong 14nm FinFET Logic Process and Design Infrastructure
December 21, 2012

Samsung complete 14nm first. Now TSMC 16nm second.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 13:24 1

19. Dr.Phil (Posts: 924; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Anything co-developed or co-produced with IBM is worth taking a look at. It would be interesting to see if they are both at work on something big for the mobile chipset world that we just haven't heard about.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:11 1

5. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3022; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

These things never gets over...fortunately, it means better things are coming so, good news!!

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:16 2

6. taikucing (unregistered)

Good. Better battery life. I hope the prices shrink too

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:17

8. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Hahaha......Unbelievable! I'm very excited!

I can't say anything right now! :D

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:24 3

10. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Why mention tablets only?
The A57 is 30% faster than A15, per clock, without the increase in power consumption.
With 16nm process, it should be almost 50 % less power consuming, per clock, than current 28nm A15 in the Octa, for example.

So all that gets us to about 3.0 Ghz Octa core 64bit PHONES in a year or two, that will actually be more energy efficient (using the super frugal A50 for the four companion cores)

And that's the power of a current high end ultrabook, at least.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 08:32 1

14. MistB (Posts: 581; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)

Thumbs up, I like your forward vision and thinking. Not everything should be resticted to tablets and will you believe that folks think the Snapdragon 800 is still destined for tablets? I recall some people saying that S600 was for tablets only, oh how the ''cautious 4.3 inch 720p is enough'' brigade are always proven wrong. The bigger market is phones, always has been and always will be, these chip makers are well aware that both phone and tablet are the future.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 09:57 1

16. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Why thank you.

And in addition, I'd say that high end phones are in fact the most powerful mobile devices.

In the Android realm, you get phones dominating the best tablets hardware wise simply because they're on the edge of the most prolific and competitive market niche ever.
They dictate the trends, and they make higher profit margins than tablets.
And that is unlikely to change until tablets truly start to sell.

This doesn't apply to Apple obviously, with iPad leading the way in the SoC department.. but that is exactly because of it being the dominant tablet on the market, and the second most important product for Apple

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:32

11. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)

wish these tech giants start to understand the needs of us customers and start using these chips in mobiles and tablets sooner than later...

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 11:17

17. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

What is your need that it requires you to have that technology in order to do whatever you want to do?

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 07:36

12. hipnotika (Posts: 305; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)

what about 20 nm ?

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 08:15 5

13. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Also, you might want to reconsider the statement about Samsung, PA.
Here's what PA wrote, haha:


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