TSMC and ARM have taped out the first Cortex A57 processors built using FinFET process technology.
The A57 is not just another ARM SoC for mobiles. It is the fastest ARM chip to date and it can handle compute intensive applications beyond phones and tablets.
In other words we should see A57 derivatives in servers and other gear. The processor is based on 64-bit ARMv8 processor cores and it is built in 16nm FinFET technology.
“This first ARM Cortex-A57 processor implementation paves the way for our mutual customers to leverage the performance and power efficiency of 16nm FinFET technology,” said Tom Cronk , executive vice president and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The joint effort of ARM, TSMC, and TSMC’s OIP design ecosystem partners demonstrates the strong commitment to provide industry-leading technology for customer designs to benefit from our latest 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, big.LITTLE processing and ARM POP IP across a wide variety of market segments.”
TSMC believes the FinFET process is ready for the new chip, although it might take quite a bit of time before we see any kit based on ARM’s new chip. It is also unclear whether we will see consumer oriented FinFET SoC designs any time soon.