ARM, TSMC Announce 7nm Chip Collaboration

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bison88

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That gives IBM and other companies the opportunity to surpass Intel in cutting-edge process technology for the first time.
This is misleading. TSMC/Samsung's process isn't equal to Intel's, not in the slightest. Their 16nm/14nm is significantly larger design wise than Intel's 22nm. It's been known for a few years that both TSMC and Samsung are playing the node game to try and "steal" the lead from Intel. They are going to be behind for awhile to come.
 

hannibal

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IBM may do it but when TSMC has been in shedule? Also the ability to make 7nm, and an ability to make 7nm as mass production is a different thing...
And yep, the nm to nm comparison is not very easy because of huge differencies in overall production technology.
But if the power usage goes down, it is a good thing to mobile devices!
 

jasonelmore

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intel's 14nm still uses the 22nm interconnect. TSMC and Samsung's 14/16nm still uses the 28nm interconnect.

The interconnect is the true indicator of manufacturing process complexity.
 

aldaia

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Things are not that simple. Once upon a time, a 0.1um process meant that you could measure something (the transistor length) and find that it was indeed 0.1um. Now we have processes called 14nm but there is nothing that is 14nm at all on them.

There are no true indicators of manufacturing process complexity. Defining a node by a few dimensions of pitches (mainly M1P and GP) is an oversimplification. Transistor density, derived from GP X M1P, puts Intel’s 14nm at 37% denser than TSMC 20nm. The comparison of real chips between 20nm A8x and 14nm Core-M reveals A8x is 48% denser than Core-M.
 

hdmark

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not that they will actually pass intel, but what happens if they did? I don't have much knowledge on this subject, but would this mean there would be desktop processors outside of intel/amd that compete? or is this mainly for mobile/tablet type devices?

just trying to figure out the significance of all of this
 

goodguy713

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Honestly the only real benefit I see coming from this is longer battery life on phones and laptops. But with only minor performance gains what's the point at some point they will have to take a different approach smaller will only work for so long. I'd be more interested in 7nm GPUs than CPUs especially considering my two year old droid maxx can do pretty much everything I need it too there's no reason to up grade other than just for the sake of getting a new phone ..
 

Spectre694

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A large part of Intel's dominance and success is due to the fact that it has (until recently) been able to consistently stay at least a process node and usually some sort design change (finfet etc) ahead of it's competition. Those equal performance and power advantages. Even for Samsung GloFo TSMC to match Intel at a process would both be a first and put them on somewhat more equal footing.

That and wafers have a fixed cost so smaller node equals more chips on the same wafer so long as yields are good.
 

aldaia

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Maybe this article from EETimes (http://www.electronics-eetimes.com/news/tsmc-arm-aim-7nm-data-centers) shows some light. Some interesting quotes:

ARM said it is preparing a generation of “future ARM technology designed specifically for data centers and network infrastructure and optimized for TSMC 7nm FinFET,”

Last year, TSMC said it expects to start making 7nm chips in 2017.

“ARM is very active in trying to get into data centers and 7 nm will be a key technology node for many of these activities…High production volumes are possible in 2019 and 2020,”
 

alidan

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Honestly the only real benefit I see coming from this is longer battery life on phones and laptops. But with only minor performance gains what's the point at some point they will have to take a different approach smaller will only work for so long. I'd be more interested in 7nm GPUs than CPUs especially considering my two year old droid maxx can do pretty much everything I need it too there's no reason to up grade other than just for the sake of getting a new phone ..
competitive pricing.
do you think an i7 is really worth 300+$
similar performance on a similar node kills all current price points because there is no "this is a premium product" advantage.
 

goodguy713

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This really doesn't mean much if performance differences are still relatively small. Sure less power but in the end most phones / tablets are already capable of doing most trivial tasks. Only benefit from this would be better battery life ... Now once they get GPUs to that level that will be news until then ...
 
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