The Taiwan-based TSMC silicon foundry is planning within the next 12 months to use ARM Ltd.’s 64-bit V8 processor as the test vehicle for its 16-nm CMOS process.
TSMC’s 16-nm FinFET process will be similar to its 20-nm high-K metal gate SoC process in the back-end. TSMC aims to have chip design kits for its 16-nm process available in January with the first foundation IP blocks such as standard cells and SRAM blocks ready a month later.
It will start limited production using the 16-nm process in November 2013 with production chip tape outs following about four or five quarters later.
The FinFET process will have the same leakage power characteristics as the 20-nm process on which it is based, but will offer a performance boost up to 35 percent and total power consumption reductions up to 35 percent compared to 20 nm.
TSMC’s rival Globalfoundries plans to make 20nm chips next year and 14-nm FinFET chips in 2014.