As I wrote last week there is a whole list of companies on LinkedIn with people working on TSMC 16nm. Today TSMC released a list of customers that have risk production 16FF+ silicon. Most of us knew this already but now we can talk about it in more detail. This is a really big deal for the FinFET doubters out there. Just because Intel had all sorts of yield trouble with 14nm does NOT mean that TSMC will experience the same type of issues.
Also Read: Who is Using Samsung 14nm?
According to TSMC the 16FF+ process provides 40% more performance than 20nm or consumes 50% less power at the same speed. The first applications you will see of course are mobile, specifically stated is “high-end mobile” meaning that 16FF+ is much faster than Samsung 14nm. Computing, networking, and consumer applications are also mentioned.
Also Read: Let the FinFET Yield Controversy Begin!
As an example of high performance a 2.3GHz ARM Cortex®-A57 is referenced and for low power a 75mW Cortex-A53. Yield is also mentioned as being ahead of the curve in comparison of all the other TSMC nodes. Remember TSMC used the same metals for 16nm as it did for 20nm which in hindsight was simply brilliant. Solve the double patterning riddle first then add FinFETs and address the added fin variation challenges.
Also Read:Cliff Hou at TSMC OIP
As Cliff Hou mentioned in his keynote at last month’s TSMC OIP Forum, a wide variety of EDA tools and hundreds of process design kits with more than 100 IPs, all of which have been silicon validated, is already supported for 16nm. TSMC also stated that 16FF+ has close to 60 customer designs scheduled to tape out by the end of 2015. Coincidentally, high volume 16FF+ ramp should start in Q3 2015, just in time for the next Apple iPad refresh.
“Our successful ramp-up in 20SoC has blazed a trail for 16FF and 16FF+, allowing us to rapidly offer a highly competitive technology to achieve maximum value for customers’ products,” said TSMC President and Co-CEO, Dr. Mark Liu. “We believe this new process can provide our customers the right balance between performance and cost so they can best meet their design requirements and time-to-market goals.
“TSMC 16FF+ process technology enables Avago to design highly optimized custom silicon solutions for networking applications in cloud datacenters and enterprise networks,” said Hock Tan, President and CEO of Avago Technologies Limited. “TSMC’s 16FF+ process technology in combination with Avago’s industry leading SerDes, memory, processor cores, and design implementation techniques deliver unparalleled time-to-market, performance and power benefits to OEM customers.”
“Sixteen-nanometer FinFET Plus technology provides compelling performance per watt advantages, enabling a myriad wave of market inflection points such as Internet of Things, 5G networks and software defined networks,” said Tom Deitrich, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Freescale‘s Digital Networking group. “Powering the new virtualized network, a new family of Layerscape™ multicore processors using ARM® and Power Architecture® technologies will be Freescale’s first offerings to leverage this innovative process technology.”
“Our collaboration with TSMC on 16FF+ technology will give LG strong competitiveness with respect to power, performance and area in the mobile AP market,” said Bo-ik Sohn, Senior Vice President at LG Electronics. “We believe that the product made through our partnership with TSMC will meet the widespread consumer demand for distinctive mobile technology.”
“TSMC is a trusted technology partner, helping to drive MediaTek’s success over the past decade to deliver market leading SoCs,” said CJ Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “With TSMC’s first ever FinFET 3D architecture and enhanced plus version, MediaTek advances mobile and home entertainment SoCs demonstrating even faster speed, optimized power and reduced chip size. The performance boosts and power reduction for MediaTek’s processors and modem technologies, compared to previous generations, has proven TSMC’s 16FF+ to be a highly competitive process technology for our chipsets.”
“NVIDIA and TSMC have collaborated for more than 15 years to deliver complex GPU architectures on state-of-the-art process nodes,” said Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President, GeForce Business Unit, NVIDIA. “Our partnership has delivered well over a billion GPUs that are deployed in everything from automobiles to supercomputers. Through working together on the next-generation 16nm FinFET process, we look forward to delivering industry-leading performance and power efficiency with future GPUs and SOCs.”
“Our partnership with TSMC enables us to address evolving semiconductor technologies and to provide state-of-the-art solutions for our customers in the automotive, industrial and ICT fields,” said Hisao Sakuta, Chairman & CEO of RenesasElectronics Corporation. “Now, we want to take full advantage of the 16FF+ technology to deliver added values for our customers in the advanced automotive information and ICT markets.”
“TSMC is once again demonstrating their leadership in the industry by delivering their 16FF+ process with exceptional results,” said Moshe Gavrielov, President and CEO of Xilinx. “This risk production milestone achievement and our continued close collaboration is enabling Xilinx to realize the industry’s highest FPGA performance per watt and an unprecedented level of programmable systems integration with the industry’s first All Programmable MPSoC and 3rd Generation 3D ICs.”
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IPs, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s owned capacity in 2014 is expected to be about 8.2 million (12-inch equivalent) wafers, including capacity from three advanced 12-inch GIGAFAB™ facilities, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC China. TSMC is the first foundry to provide both 20nm and 16nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. For more information about TSMC please visit http://www.tsmc.com.
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