ARM, TSMC plan 20nm SoC production

The companies have signed a long-term deal to help them get better speed and power performance from ARM's Cortex designs.

ARM has signed a long-term deal with Taiwanese chip foundry TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) to build very small system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors, the companies said on Tuesday.

The British chip architecture firm already has a deal with rival manufacturer Globalfoundries to build its Cortex SoCs using the 28 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process, but the agreement with TSMC will see Cortex processors built down to the 20nm scale. TSMC is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor maker with 2009 sales around three times its nearest rival, fellow Taiwanese company UMC, according to chip research company IC Insights.

"Through our industry leadership in processor and physical IP and our strategic alliances with leading foundries and [electronic design automation] companies, ARM is enabling faster time to volume production of SoCs," Simon Segars, the head of ARM's physical IP division, said in a statement. "This new agreement assures the industry that ARM and TSMC will collectively provide IP development leadership for advanced process technologies well into the future."

Read more of "ARM and TSMC plan 20nm system-on-a-chip production" at ZDNet UK.

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