Fri, May 04, 2012 - Page 12 News List

TSMC touts 28nm process technology

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said the test chips of ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 processors using its 28 nanometer (nm) process technology delivered a performance speed of up to 3.1 Gigahertz (GHz) with low levels of power leakage.

Cliff Hou (侯永清), a vice president in TSMC’s research and development division, said that at 3.1GHz, the 28nm dual-core processor was twice as fast as rival products.

“This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands,” Hou said in a statement. “With other implementation options, 28nm HPM [high performance for mobile applications] process technology is also highly suited to a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency.”

TSMC, the world’s largest -contract chipmaker, has out-performed its rivals in the production of 28nm wafers, starting shipments last year to major customers including Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Altera Corp, Nvidia Corp, Qualcomm Inc and Xilinx Inc.

Last week, TSMC announced that it would increase capital spending for this year to a record US$8.5 billion after customers complained about not receiving enough 28nm chips for mobile devices like smartphones.

At a quarterly conference with investors and analysts last week in Taipei, TSMC chairman and chief executive officer Morris Chang (張忠謀) said the company expected production of 28nm chips to meet customer demand in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Hsinchu-based company’s latest tests on ARM A9 processor using its 28nm technology showed it capable of achieving performance speeds range from 1.5GHz to 2.0GHz, which is suitable for mobile computing, with a top speed of up to 3.1GHz, which is aimed at high-performance uses, yesterday’s statement said.

“TSMC’s high-performance 28nm process technology is suitable for a wide range of advanced ARM-processor based applications, extending from high--frequency, performance-orientated computing devices to power sensitive applications,” said Jim Nicholas, vice president of marketing at British chipset designer ARM Holdings PLC.

Separately, MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest handset chip designer, said yesterday its Wi-Fi system-on-a-chip, the RT6856, has been incorporated into D-Link Corp’s (友訊) latest Wi-Fi cloud routers.

D-Link, which makes networking equipment and connectivity solutions, began shipments of new cloud routers this spring, -MediaTek said in a separate statement.

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