EE Times delivers details about TSMC's process node plans, and reveals the foundry will use ARM's first 64-bit processor, the V8, as a test vehicle for its 16nm FinFET process.
The advent of double patterning at 20 nm and FinFETs at 16 nm pose significant challenges to chip designers, based on talks with TSMC and partner companies. TSMC’s roadmap is roughly in line with rival Globalfoundries that also hopes to make 20nm chips next year and 14-nm FinFET chips in 2014.
One analog IP provider said his first 20 nm designs resulted in bigger blocks, disappointing customers. The company had to completely redesign IP such as USB blocks—a job that took a year--to deal with double patterning and get 25 to 30 percent area reductions.