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Monday, March 25, 2013
TSMC And Imagination To Optimise 16nm FinFET Design Flows


TSMC and Imagination will work closely to develop highly optimised reference design flows and silicon implementations using Imagination's PowerVR Series6 GPUs combined with TSMC's process technologies, including 16-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.

TSMC and Imagination will work closely to develop highly optimised reference design flows and silicon implementations using Imagination's PowerVR Series6 GPUs combined with TSMC's process technologies, including 16-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology. Imagination and TSMC R&D teams also plan to work together to create fully characterised reference system designs, utilizing high bandwidth memory standards and TSMC's 3D IC technology capability to demonstrate new levels of system performance and capabilities while retaining all the essential characteristics of power, silicon area and small package footprint demanded by high volume mobile SoCs.

To address these challenges, Imagination and TSMC are investigating how the characteristics of the latest processes, such as 16FinFET, influence the design of high performance IP-based SoCs.

Says Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination: "Many of our licensees rely on TSMC to provide them with leading edge low power, high performance silicon foundry capabilities. Through advanced projects initiated under this partnership, Imagination and TSMC are working together to showcase how SoCs will transform the future of mobile and embedded products. We are delighted to announce our strengthening relationship with TSMC, and look forward to seeing the fruits of these projects benefiting our many mutual customers."

"Just as memory drove silicon processes in the '80s and '90s, and CPUs drove processes further in the late '90s and '00s, high performance mobile GPUs for graphics and compute applications are one of the major drivers for our most advanced process technologies," said Dr. Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, R&D. "We're pleased to be working with Imagination, an established leader in mobile and embedded GPU IP, to understand how best to use PowerVR GPUs to work with us to optimize future generations of our most advanced process technologies, and advanced system design techniques."

Graphics processors are gaining importance in mobile devices, and Apple and Nvidia are creating mobile chips that can render high-definition games and video.



Imagination's PowerVR graphics cores are used in Apple's mobile devices, Samsung's eight-core Exynos Octa 5 chip, Intel-based tablets and other products.

Neither Imagination nor TSMC said when the Series6 chips with 3D transistors would become available.

Intel was the first implement 3D transistors in CPUs when it started making chips using the 22-nanometer process in 2011. GlobalFoundries is expected to implement FinFET in its manufacturing process starting in 2014.


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