LONDON ó Foundry chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and ARM Holdings plc have signed an agreement that provides TSMC with access to ARM processors and enables the development of ARM physical IP across TSMC technology nodes down to 20-nm.
The two companies are already very close, although ARM (Cambridge, England) has also been courting GlobalFoundries Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) in the last couple of years. The latest agreement provides access to physical and processor IP over a range of process nodes extending down to 20-nm, ARM said.
The agreement provides TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) with a license to optimize the implementation of ARM processors on TSMC process technologies, including ARM Cortex processor family and the CoreLink interconnect fabric for AMBA. It also establishes a long-term relationship with ARM for the development of physical IP, including memory products and standard cell libraries targeting 28-nm and 20-nm processes.
Processor implementations prepared by ARM and TSMC working together will target consumer-centric market segments including wireless, portable computing, tablet PCs and high performance computing, said ARM. "We believe this effort will enhance the value of our Open Innovation Platform that efficiently empowers innovation throughout the supply chain, said Fu-Chieh Hsu, vice president of design and technology platform at TSMC, in a statement issued by ARM.
"This new agreement assures the industry that ARM and TSMC will collectively provide IP development leadership for advanced process technologies well into the future," said Simon Segars, general manager of ARM's Physical IP division, in the same statement.
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