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Apr 2, 2013

First ARM Cortex-A57 64-Bit Processor Taped Out




The ARMv8 architecture was what opened the door for ARM Holdings on the computer industry, as it adds support for 64-bit instructions, a must on modern PCs. Now, though, we get to see the first optimizations.

ARM Holdings is collaborating with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), which happens to be the world's largest foundry. ARM provided the Artisan physical IP, while TSMC implemented its memory macros. Everything was combined with RDA technologies enabled by the TSMC Open Innovation Platform design ecosystem. Neither company said when the Cortex-A57 processor would be seen in devices, and this information probably won't be released for a while. They did confirm, or at least ARM did, that the chip was taped out, meaning that the first manufacturing stages have kicked off. It is the first so-called milestone in the cooperation between ARM and TSMC to optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture using the 16nm FinFET process technology. For those unaware, Cortex-A57 is the highest-performing chip that ARM has ever designed and will be used in mobile and enterprise computing devices.

We may even spot it in the occasional laptop. Right now, AMD and Intel still own that market segment, but ARM has been trying to get into it for years, and made the ARMv8 architecture with it specifically in mind, not just enterprise devices. That said, given the usual stages of manufacturing, we believe the first Cortex-A57 products will be seen before the year is out. “The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM’s highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing applications including compute intensive 64-bit applications such as high end computer, tablet and server products,” the company wrote.

Cortex-A57 has ARM Mali graphics and up to 16 cores. Extra information, though not much, can be found on the product page.

ARM logo
Image credits to ARM

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