News Posts matching "TSMC"

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SoC Powering Xbox One S Leverages 16 nm FinFET from TSMC

Microsoft's new slim Xbox One S console achieves its slimness - including its inbuilt power-supply, by significantly reducing thermal load of its key components. This begins at the heart of the console, its SoC. A semi-custom chip by Microsoft and AMD, the SoC powering the Xbox One S is built on the 16 nm FinFET process at TSMC. The chip powering the original Xbox One was built on the same foundry's 28 nm node.

The new SoC isn't merely an optical shrink of the original 28 nm chip down to 16 nm FinFET, Microsoft added a few components to the chip, including an HEVC hardware decoder, hardware CODECs for Blu-ray UHD with HDR; and a revamped display controller with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. The chip also performs 1080p to 4K UHD upscaling, with a native upscaling algorithm. The eSRAM memory bandwidth is increased slightly from 204 GB/s from 219 GB/s.

Source: Eurogamer

NVIDIA Accelerates Volta to May 2017?

Following the surprise TITAN X Pascal launch slated for 2nd August, it looks like NVIDIA product development cycle is running on steroids, with reports emerging of the company accelerating its next-generation "Volta" architecture debut to May 2017, along the sidelines of next year's GTC. The architecture was originally scheduled to make its debut in 2018.

Much like "Pascal," the "Volta" architecture could first debut with HPC products, before moving on to the consumer graphics segment. NVIDIA could also retain the 16 nm FinFET+ process at TSMC for Volta. Stacked on-package memory such as HBM2 could be more readily available by 2017, and could hit sizable volumes towards the end of the year, making it ripe for implementation in high-volume consumer products.

Source: WCCFTech

Softbank Acquires ARM for $32 Billion

Japanese conglomerate Softbank acquired British CPU architecture designer ARM in a USD $32 billion deal on Monday. Softbank's bid of $32 billion is a 43 percent premium over ARM's current valuation of $22.3 billion, and the Cambridge-based firm will recommend its shareholders to approve of its acquisition. Shares of ARM surged 45% on the LSE, adding £7.56 billion to its market value. The company reported revenues of $1.49 billion in 2015. ARM founder Herman Hauser, however, isn't happy with the board's decision. "This is a sad day for me and a sad day for technology in Britain," he stated.

ARM designs CPU architectures, which it then licenses to other processor and SoC manufacturers, many of which are fabless themselves, making it an intellectual property giant. None of ARM's products are "tangible" or physical. While Intel, for example, designs CPU architectures (eg: x86), implements it (eg: Core i7, Celeron), and manufactures it (at its Costa Rica and Malaysia fabs) ARM's product is not tangible. It has a CPU architecture, which clients such as Samsung, Huawei, and Qualcomm license, implement (eg: Exynos, Kylin, Snapdragon), and contract-manufacture, through fabs such as GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and ST Microelectronics.

Source: BBC

NVIDIA GP104 "Pascal" ASIC Pictured

Here are two of the first pictures of NVIDIA's upcoming "GP104" graphics processor. This chip will drive at least three new GeForce SKUs bound for a June 2016 launch; and succeeds the GM204 silicon, which drives the current-gen GTX 980 and GTX 970. Based on the "Pascal" architecture, the GPU will be built on TSMC's latest 16 nm FinFET+ node. The chip appears to feature a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, and is rumored to feature a memory clock of 8 Gbps, yielding a memory bandwidth of 256 GB/s.

Source: ChipHell, AnandTech Forums

TSMC to Begin 7 nm Trial Production in 2017

Taiwan's premier semiconductor foundry TSMC could begin 7 nanometer (nm) trial production in as early as the first half of 2017. Co-CEO Mark Liu, speaking at the company's investor-meet held earlier this month, stated that TSMC is currently engaging with over 20 companies on 7 nm development, with over 15 tape-outs within 2017, leading up to volume-production by early-2018. In the run-up to 7 nm, the company is also developing a 10 nm node for lower-powered devices (eg: mobile baseband). The company has already begun tape-outs of 10 nm chips in Q1-2016. TSMC is currently handling volume-production of 16 nm FinFET Plus chips.

Source: DeliddedTech

NVIDIA "GP104" Silicon to Feature GDDR5X Memory Interface

It looks like NVIDIA's next GPU architecture launch will play out much like its previous two generations - launching the second biggest chip first, as a well-priced "enthusiast" SKU that outperforms the previous-generation enthusiast product, and launching the biggest chip later, as the high-end enthusiast product. The second-biggest chip based on NVIDIA's upcoming "Pascal" architecture, the "GP104," which could let NVIDIA win crucial $550 and $350 price-points, will be a lean machine. NVIDIA will design the chip to keep manufacturing costs low enough to score big in price-performance, and a potential price-war with AMD.

As part of its efforts to keep GP104 as cost-effective as possible, NVIDIA could give exotic new tech such as HBM2 memory a skip, and go with GDDR5X. Implementing GDDR5X could be straightforward and cost-effective for NVIDIA, given that it's implemented the nearly-identical GDDR5 standard on three previous generations. The new standard will double densities, and one could expect NVIDIA to build its GP104-based products with 8 GB of standard memory amounts. GDDR5X breathed a new lease of life to GDDR5, which had seen its clock speeds plateau around 7 Gbps/pin. The new standard could come in speeds of up to 10 Gbps at first, and eventually 12 Gbps and 14 Gbps. NVIDIA could reserve HBM2 for its biggest "Pascal" chip, on which it could launch its next TITAN product.

TSMC Damaged by Earthquake, Could Impact AMD and NVIDIA GPU production

The recent 6.4 magnitude Taiwan earthquake, which hit the island nation on February 6th, affected TSMC worse than expected. Taiwan's premier semiconductor foundry, TSMC, had initially expected semiconductor wafer shipments to be down by less than 1%, but it is now emerging that the drop in shipments could be higher, because the damage to one of its facilities, Fab-14, is worse than originally assessed.

TSMC, in an official communication to its clients, assured that 95% of the foundry machines could return to functionality within 2-3 days after the earthquake. To that effect, machines in Fab-6 and Fab-14B have been fully restored. Despite the disaster, the company appears confident of reaching revenue targets of US $5.9-6.0 billion for Q1-2016. TSMC is the primary foundry partner of major fabless semiconductor companies, such as Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and AMD. AMD recently moved its next-generation GPU manufacturing to Korean silicon giant Samsung, while NVIDIA is building its next "Pascal" GPU family on TSMC's process.

Source: DigiTimes

TSMC to Launch its 5 nm Fab by 2020

Taiwan's premier semiconductor foundry, TSMC, announced that it is on track to begin production of chips on its 7 nanometer silicon fab process by the first half of 2018. The company also announced that production on an even newer 5 nanometer process should commence two years later, in 2020. The company has currently cleared all decks for mass-production of chips on its 16 nm FFC (FinFET compact) node, with the company hoping to grab over 70% of the worldwide 14/16 nm production market-share by the end of 2016.

Source: DigiTimes

Samsung to Fab AMD "Zen" and "Arctic Islands" on its 14 nm FinFET Node

It has been confirmed that Samsung will be AMD's foundry partner for its next generation GPUs. It has been reported that AMD's upcoming "Arctic Islands" family of GPUs could be built on the 14 nanometer FinFET LPP (low-power Plus) process. AMD's rival NVIDIA, meanwhile, is building its next-gen "Pascal" GPU family on 16 nanometer FinFET node, likely at its traditional foundry partner TSMC.

It gets better - not only will Samsung manufacture AMD's next-gen GPUs, but also its upcoming "Zen" family of CPUs, at least a portion of it. AMD is looking to distribute manufacturing loads between two foundries, Samsung and GlobalFoundries, perhaps to ensure that foundry-level teething trouble doesn't throw its product launch cycle off the rails. One of the most talked about "Arctic Islands" GPUs is codenamed "Greenland," likely a successor to "Fiji." Sales of some of the first chips - GPUs or CPUs - made at Samsung, will begin some time in Q3 2016. Some of the other clients for Samsung's 14 nm FinFET node are Apple and Qualcomm. The company plans to speed up development of its more advanced 10 nm node to some time in 2017.

Source: ETNews

NVIDIA GP100 Silicon Moves to Testing Phase

NVIDIA's next-generation flagship graphics processor, codenamed "GP100," has reportedly graduated to testing phase. That is when a limited batch of completed chips are sent from the foundry partner to NVIDIA for testing and evaluation. The chips tripped speed-traps on changeover airports, on their way to NVIDIA. predicts that the GP100, based on the company's "Pascal" GPU architecture, will feature no less than 17 billion transistors, and will be built on the 16 nm FinFET+ node at TSMC. The GP100 will feature an HBM2 memory interface. HBM2 allows you to cram up to 32 GB of memory. The flagship product based on GP100 could feature about 16 GB of memory. NVIDIA's design goal could be to squeeze out anywhere between 60-90% higher performance than the current-generation flagship GTX TITAN-X.


NVIDIA "Pascal" GPUs to be Built on 16 nm TSMC FinFET Node

NVIDIA's next-generation GPUs, based on the company's "Pascal" architecture, will be reportedly built on the 16 nanometer FinFET node at TSMC, and not the previously reported 14 nm FinFET node at Samsung. Talks of foundry partnership between NVIDIA and Samsung didn't succeed, and the GPU maker decided to revert to TSMC. The "Pascal" family of GPUs will see NVIDIA adopt HBM2 (high-bandwidth memory 2), with stacked DRAM chips sitting alongside the GPU die, on a multi-chip module, similar to AMD's pioneering "Fiji" GPU. Rival AMD, on the other hand, could build its next-generation GCNxt GPUs on 14 nm FinFET process being refined by GlobalFoundries.

Source: BusinessKorea

TSMC to Commence 10 nm Volume Production by Q4-2016

Semiconductor foundry TSMC assured its clients that the company will be ready with a 10 nanometer manufacturing node for volume production, by the 4th quarter of 2016. Company president and joint-CEO Mark Liu made this announcement during the company's recent Q2-2015 earnings call. "The recent progress of our 10 nanometer technology development is very encouraging and on track with our plan," he said. With volume production of chips commencing in Q4, some of the first products based on them should begin appearing in early-2017. "We ramp up 10 nm in the Q4 2016 next year, but the real product shipment will be in Q1 2017," said C.C. Wei, co-CEO.

Source: Kitguru

NVIDIA Tapes Out "Pascal" Based GP100 Silicon

Sources tell that NVIDIA has successfully taped out its next big silicon based on its upcoming "Pascal" GPU architecture, codenamed GP100. A successor to GM200, this chip will be the precursor to several others based on this architecture. A tape-out means that the company has successfully made a tiny quantity of working prototypes for internal testing and further development. It's usually seen as a major milestone in a product development cycle.

With "Pascal," NVIDIA will pole-vault HBM1, which is making its debut with AMD's "Fiji" silicon; and jump straight to HBM2, which will allow SKU designers to cram up to 32 GB of video memory. speculates that GP100 could feature anywhere between 4,500 to 6,000 CUDA cores. The chip will be built on TSMC's upcoming 16 nanometer silicon fab process, which will finally hit the road by 2016. The GP100, and its companion performance-segment silicon, the GP104 (successor to GM204), are expected to launch between Q2 and Q3, 2016.


AMD to Skip 20 nm, Jump Straight to 14 nm with "Arctic Islands" GPU Family

AMD's next-generation GPU family, which it plans to launch some time in 2016, codenamed "Arctic Islands," will see the company skip the 20 nanometer silicon fab process from 28 nm, and jump straight to 14 nm FinFET. Whether the company will stick with TSMC, which is seeing crippling hurdles to implement its 20 nm node for GPU vendors; or hire a new fab, remains to be seen. Intel and Samsung are currently the only fabs with 14 nm nodes that have attained production capacity. Intel is manufacturing its Core "Broadwell" CPUs, while Samsung is manufacturing its Exynos 7 (refresh) SoCs. Intel's joint-venture with Micron Technology, IMFlash, is manufacturing NAND flash chips on 14 nm.

Named after islands in the Arctic circle, and a possible hint at the low TDP of the chips, benefiting from 14 nm, "Arctic Islands" will be led by "Greenland," a large GPU that will implement the company's most advanced stream processor design, and implement HBM2 memory, which offers 57% higher memory bandwidth at just 48% the power consumption of GDDR5. Korean memory manufacturer SK Hynix is ready with its HBM2 chip designs.Source: Expreview

Next AMD Flagship Single-GPU Card to Feature HBM

AMD's next flagship single-GPU graphics card, codenamed "Fiji," could feature High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM). The technology allows for increased memory bandwidth using stacked DRAM, while reducing the pin-count of the GPU, needed to achieve that bandwidth, possibly reducing die-size and TDP. Despite this, "Fiji" could feature TDP hovering the 300W mark, because AMD will cram in all the pixel-crunching muscle it can, at the expense of efficiency from other components, such as memory. AMD is expected to launch new GPUs in 2015, despite slow progress from foundry partner TSMC to introduce newer silicon fabs; as the company's lineup is fast losing competitiveness to NVIDIA's GeForce "Maxwell" family.

Source: The TechReport

AMD to Switch to GlobalFoundries' 28 nm SHP Node in 2015

Faced with continuous development roadblocks with TSMC, AMD is reportedly planning to switch to the 28 nm SHP process of GlobalFoundries, to build GPUs in 2015. The 28 nm SHP (super high-performance) node will allow the company to lower voltages, giving it greater room to increase clock speeds of its upcoming GPUs. AMD's GPUs in 2015 could be based on its latest Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture, and AMD needs every means to minimize voltages, and crank up clock speeds.

The company hasn't abandoned TSMC completely just yet, with reports speaking of AMD using the Taiwanese fab's 16 nm FinFet node to manufacture its next-generation "Zen" CPUs. Zen is the successor to AMD's "Bulldozer" architecture and its derivatives ("Piledriver" and "Steamroller.") It could feature a radically different core design.


TSMC 16FinFET Plus Process Achieves Risk Production Milestone

TSMC today announced its 16-nanometer FinFET Plus (16FF+) process is now in risk production. This enhanced version of TSMC's 16FF process operates 40% faster than the company's planar 20-nanometer system-on-chip (20SoC) process, or consumes 50% less power at the same speed. It offers customers a new level of performance and power optimization targeted at the next generation of high-end mobile, computing, networking, and consumer applications.

TSMC's 16nm process offers an extended scaling of advanced SoC designs and is verified to reach speeds of 2.3GHz with ARM's "big" Cortex-A57 in high-speed applications while consuming as little as 75mW with the "LITTLE" Cortex-A53 in low-power applications. It is making excellent progress in yield learning, and has achieved the best technology maturity at the same corresponding stage as compared to all TSMC's previous nodes.

AMD to Give 20 nm Optical Shrinks to Console SoCs First

AMD has the unique distinction of supplying SoCs to all three leading game console vendors simultaneously - Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The company, like NVIDIA, is looking forward with perched eyes for manufacturing partner TSMC to get its 20 nanometer silicon fabrication node running full-cylinders. Unlike NVIDIA, which may use the new process to shrink its GPUs, or launch bigger chips based on its "Maxwell" architecture, AMD will treat its console SoCs with optical-shrinks to the new nodes first, so the company could immediately eke out better margins, as console gamers upgrade to Xbox One or the PlayStation 4.

AMD's SoC for the Xbox One, could be the first in line for this optical shrink to 20 nm. This chip features a transistor count of 5 billion, and houses eight 64-bit x86 CPU cores, and a 768 SP GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture; 48 MB of on-die cache, and a quad-channel DDR3 IMC. The chip also features an integrated core logic. AMD's chip for the PlayStation 4 features design inputs from Sony. The chip features the same CPU component, but a 1152 SP GPU, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, wired to 8 GB of memory that's virtualized for both system- and graphics-memory. The 20 nm shrinks of both chips are expected to lower not just manufacturing costs, but also step up energy-efficiency, which could then let Microsoft and Sony save additional costs on other components, such as power and cooling.

Source: Expreview

TSMC and ARM Unveil Roadmap for 64-bit ARM-based Processors on 10FinFET Process

ARM and TSMC today announced a new multi-year agreement that will deliver ARMv8-A processor IP optimized for TSMC 10FinFET process technology. Because of the success in scaling from 20SoC to 16FinFET, ARM and TSMC have decided to collaborate again for 10FinFET. This early pathfinding work will provide valuable learning to enable physical design IP and methodologies in support of customers to tape-out 10FinFET designs as early as Q4 2015.

"ARM and TSMC are industry leaders in our respective fields and collectively ensure the availability of leading-edge solutions for ARM-based SoCs through our deep and long-term collaboration," said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president, product groups, ARM. "Our mutual commitment to providing industry leading solutions drives us to work together early in the development cycle to optimize both the processor and the process node. This joint optimization enables ARM silicon partners to design, tape-out and bring their products to market faster."

TSMC Delivers First Fully Functional 16FinFET Networking Processor

TSMC today announced that its collaboration with HiSilicon Technologies Co, Ltd. has successfully produced the foundry segment's first fully functional ARM-based networking processor withFinFET technology. This milestone is a strong testimonial to deep collaboration between the two companies and TSMC's commitment to providing industry-leading technology to meet the increasing customer demand for the next generation of high-performance, energy-efficient devices.

TSMC's 16FinFET process promises impressive speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction. All of these advantages overcome challenges that have become critical barriers to further scaling of advanced SoC technology. It has twice the gate density of TSMC's 28HPM process, and operates more than 40% faster at the same total power, or reduces total power over 60% at the same speed.

TSMC May Lose 16 nm and 14 nm Market Share to Competitors in 2015: Chairman

TSMC may lose out on orders to competing fabs on the 16 nanometer (nm) and 14 nm nodes, in terms of market share, in 2015, according to company chairman Morris Chang. Chips built on the 16 nm node will amount to single-digit percentages of the company's output in the year. Samsung Electronics is expected to take the lead on these processes, as it just netted orders from Qualcomm, a major mobile baseband chip and SoC designer.

Chang stressed that 20 nm and 16 nm will drive revenue for the next three years for major fabs. 20 nm products will account for 10 percent of TSMC's revenues in Q3 2014, will expand to 20 percent in Q4, and contribute over 20 percent of TSMC's revenues in 2015. TSMC's 16 nm node will be competitive for products such as mobile baseband chips, ICs, GPUs, NICs, and server chips. Despite these setbacks in the company's competitive outlook, it expects its revenues to grow by 12.6 to 14.2 percent sequentially in Q3 2014, year over year.Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA Moving Around the Fabled GeForce GTX TITAN II

NVIDIA is moving around engineering samples of what it describes as "GM200 A1 graphics processor," in its shipping manifest. The sample was making its way from Taiwan, to Bangalore, India, from where it's likely pushed to the company's facilities in Bangalore and Hyderabad. A1 steppings of NVIDIA chips are usually pre-production, and bound for just a few more rounds of testing, before being upgraded to "A2" and mass-produced. German tech site also pulled out some likely specifications from its sources.

To begin with, the GM200, like the GM204, will be built on existing 28 nm silicon fabrication process, as both NVIDIA and AMD appear to have suffered design setbacks due to their common foundry partner, TSMC, not being able to set its next-gen 20 nm node up to speed in time. The GM200 is expected to feature over 4,000 CUDA cores, although the exact number is unknown. It is expected to widen the memory bus to 512-bit. Given the existing process, the GPU will be huge. Over 600 mm² huge. NVIDIA will probably bank on the energy efficiency of its "Maxwell" architecture to cope with thermal loads put out by a chip that big. The GM200-based "GeForce GTX TITAN II" could launch in the first half of 2015.


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880 and GTX 870 to Launch This Q4

NVIDIA is planning to launch its next high performance single-GPU graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 880 and GTX 870, no later than Q4-2014, in the neighborhood of October and November, according to a SweClockers report. The two will be based on the brand new "GM204" silicon, which most reports suggest, is based on the existing 28 nm silicon fab process. Delays by NVIDIA's principal foundry partner TSMC to implement its next-generation 20 nm process has reportedly forced the company to design a new breed of "Maxwell" based GPUs on the existing 28 nm process. The architecture's good showing with efficiency on the GeForce GTX 750 series probably gave NVIDIA hope. When 20 nm is finally smooth, it wouldn't surprise us if NVIDIA optically shrinks these chips to the new process, like it did to the G92 (from 65 nm to 55 nm). The GM204 chip is rumored to feature 3,200 CUDA cores, 200 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. It succeeds the company's current workhorse chip, the GK104.

Source: SweClockers

No 20 nm GPUs from AMD This Year

It's not just NVIDIA, which will lack 20 nm GPUs in its portfolio this year. AMD senior vice-president Lisa Su, responding to a question by Wells Fargo, in its Q1 investors call, confirmed that her company will stay on 28 nm throughout 2014, and it's only later that it will move on to 20 nm, and FinFET after that. "I think what I said earlier sort of what we're doing in terms of technology strategy, we are 28 this year, we have 20-nanometer in design, and then FinFET thereafter. So that's the overall product portfolio," she said.

AMD and NVIDIA manufacture their GPUs on a common foundry, TSMC, which has faced delays in implementing its 20 nanometer silicon fab node transition, forcing both companies to come up with new GPUs on existing 28 nm nodes. A huge leap in performance could be a tough ask for those new GPUs. NVIDIA is expected to tape out its performance-segment GM204 and mid-range GM206 chips, both of which are 28 nm, later this month, and the first GeForce GTX products based on the two are expected to roll out by late-Q4 2014 and early-Q1 2015, respectively.

Source: Seeking Alpha

NVIDIA GM204 and GM206 to Tape-Out in April, Products to Launch in Q4?

It looks like things are going horribly wrong at TSMC, NVIDIA and AMD's principal foundry partner, with its 20 nm manufacturing process, which is throwing a wrench into the works at NVIDIA, forcing it to re-engineer an entire lineup of "Maxwell" GPUs based on existing 28 nm process. Either that, or NVIDIA is confident of delivering an efficiency leap using Maxwell on existing/mature 28 nm process, and saving costs in the process. NVIDIA is probably drawing comfort from the excellent energy-efficiency demonstrated by its Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 750 series. According to a report, NVIDIA's next mainline GPUs, the GM204 and GM206, which will be built on the 28 nm process, and "Maxwell" architecture, will tape out later this month. Products based on the two, however, can't be expected before Q4 2014, as late as December, or even as late as January 2015.

GM204 succeeds GK104 as the company's next workhorse performance-segment silicon, which could power graphics card SKUs ranging all the way from US $250 to $500. An older report suggests that it could feature as many as 3,200 CUDA cores. The GM204 could be taped out in April 2014, and the first GeForce products based on it could launch no sooner than December 2014. The GM206 is the company's next mid-range silicon, which succeeds GK106. It will tape out in April, alongside the GM204, but products based on it will launch only in January 2015. The GM200 is a different beast altogether. There's no mention of which process the chip will be based on, but it will succeed the GK110, and should offer performance increments worthy of being a successor. For that, it has to be based on the 20 nm process. It will tape-out in June 2014, and products based on it will launch only in or after Q2 2015.Source:
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