Today, TSMC, also known as the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, announced that its very own 28nm ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor test chip reached 3.1 GHz. According to TSMC, the 28nm HPM process technology will address applications that are requiring high speeds and low leakage power. Based on the tests conducted under various design conditions, the chip has attained the suitable speed range for mobile computing (1.5 GHz to 2.0 GHz) and high-performance use (3.1 GHz). The 28nm chip has been developed for devices such as tablets and mobile consumer product applications.
Cliff Hou, TSMC vice president for Research and Development said that the 3.1 GHz performance of the 28 HPM dual-core processor is twice as fast as its counterpart chip that is built on an older 40-nanometer manufacturing process. “This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency,” Hou added.
With this test, both ARM and TSMC want to prove that the ARM architecture can be used not only in phones, but also in designs that require more raw processing and low-power at the same time. Although the idea is a good one, the actual market has been difficult to crack for now. With the impending arrival of Windows 8 tablets, the timing may just be perfect for a fast ARM architecture that would be capable of powering those device, while consuming less than their competition from Intel.