ARM, TSMC to Collaborate on 7nm SoC Process
The deal expands the partnership for the two companies and is part of ARM's larger effort to move its architecture into the data center.ARM officials are continuing their push into the data center through an expanded partnership with chip foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. to develop a 7-nanometer FinFET chip manufacturing process. The two companies already are working together on 16nm and 10nm processes that have used ARM's Artisan foundation physical IP. The development of a 7nm process would move the work the two companies have done together from mobile systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) to data centers and next-generation networks, according to officials with both ARM and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC). "Existing ARM-based platforms have been shown to deliver an increase of up to 10x in compute density for specific data center workloads," Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups at ARM, said in a statement. "Future ARM technology designed specifically for data centers and network infrastructure and optimized for TSMC 7nm FinFET will enable our mutual customers to scale the industry's lowest-power architecture across all performance points." ARM designs processors and then licenses those designs to manufacturers like Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia, Apple and Applied Micro, which then put their own technologies on top of the architecture and build the chips for their own use or to sell to device makers. Most of the chips in smartphones and tablets are based on ARM designs.
The company, for several years, has been eyeing the data center, with officials saying their low-power designs are a good fit for many emerging workloads running on servers and over networks. ARM is looking to carve out space in a data center environment dominated by Intel, which owns more than 95 percent of the market.