TSMC tapes out 20nm ARM Cortex-A15 processor

TSMC has taped out the first 20nm ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor.

The two companies managed to implement RTL to tape out in just six months using TSMC’s Open Innovation Platform (OIP) 20nm design ecosystem.

“This first 20nm ARM Cortex-A15 tape out paves the way for the next generation of SoC integration. [The] process provides more than a 2X performance increase over preceding generations,” said ARM exec Mike Inglis.

“The combination of TSMC technology, the latest ARM Cortex-A15 processor and Artisan physical IP will help meet the increasing demand for high performance, energy-efficient consumer devices.”

Indeed, the A15 is the first ARM chip to incorporate highly efficient hardware support for data management and arbitration, enabling multiple software environments and their applications to simultaneously access system capabilities.

The Cortex-A15 also boasts an out-of-order superscalar pipeline with a tightly-coupled low-latency level-2 cache which can be up to 4MB in size. 

Additional improvements in floating point and NEON media performance will help facilitate the creation of devices capable of delivering a next-gen user experience for consumers as well as high-performance computation for web infrastructure applications.

ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore SoCs have already been tapped to power a wide variety of upcoming devices, including smartphones, tablets, mobile computers, high-end digital home, servers and wireless infrastructure.