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

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.

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21 Comments

1. tusshharish

Posts: 342; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

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

2. aryanfr1

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

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

15. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

no matter what intel still makes better processors period

18. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

21. ph00ny

Posts: 2066; Member since: May 26, 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.

20. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 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.

3. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

Unbelievable

4. kamejoko

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

7. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

news from a year ago ...nice try

9. kamejoko

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

Samsung Delivers Strong 14nm FinFET Logic Process and Design Infrastructure December 21, 2012 Samsung complete 14nm first. Now TSMC 16nm second.

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 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.

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

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

6. taikucing unregistered

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

8. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Hahaha......Unbelievable! I'm very excited! I can't say anything right now! :D

10. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 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.

14. MistB

Posts: 581; Member since: Jul 07, 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.

16. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 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

11. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 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...

17. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

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

12. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

what about 20 nm ?

13. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Also, you might want to reconsider the statement about Samsung, PA. Here's what PA wrote, haha: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-14nm-mobile-chip-tests-successful-promise-dekstop-performance-at-frugal-power-consumption_id37955

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