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ARM offers optimisation for TSMC's 28nm process node

Can't optimise away delays
Mon Apr 16 2012, 13:43

CHIP DESIGNER ARM has released a slew of optimisation packs for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 28nm and 40nm process nodes.

ARM, which licenses designs to many chip designers, including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Samsung, has given TSMC a boost by offering processor optimisation packs for the firm's 28nm and 40nm process nodes. ARM claims the optimisation packs for its Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 processor cores help designers make use of TSMC's process node nuances to get the most out of their designs.

While ARM's processor optimisation packs suggest that firms using ARM's architecture will use TSMC as the fab of choice, there has been renewed speculation that TSMC is having problems with its 28nm process node. Consumers can see this in the lack of AMD Radeon HD 7000 series and Nvidia Geforce GTX 680 boards, both of which use chips fabbed on TSMC's 28nm process node, while two separate industry sources have told The INQUIRER that TSMC has problems getting enough 28nm chips out the door.

When ARM was asked about its promotion of TSMC's 28nm process node to its partners with the processor optimisation packs the firm declined to comment.

ARM's process optimisation packs will nonetheless be popular with chip designers that want to squeeze everything they can from ARM based processor designs using TSMC's 28nm and the mature 40nm process node. However ARM might need to optimise for other fabs if TSMC can't keep its customers happy. µ


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