TSMC has reportedly made its first prototype chips on a 10nm process as the company is setting up a pilot production line. This brings the company a step closer to risk production, which is currently scheduled for the second half of 2016.
The proof of concept chip made on the pilot line is an ARM Cortex-A57 module, it was made using the CLN10FF+ process. This 10nm FinFET process promises 110% more transistors, up to 20 percent higher clockspeeds at the same power level and 40 percent power consumption cuts for clock versus the 16nm FinFET+ process.
The existence of this validation vehicle for the 10nm node was revealed in the 52nd Design Automation Conference held recently and are critical to breaking the way for mass production on any scale. Their job is to make sure that all the electronic path ways, fabrication process and automation design software pass real life testing. Ofcourse, Intel is the only company in the world with a high performance sub 20nm node so the TSMC process will almost certainly target the low power market.