ARM strikes strategic partnership with TSMC over 64-bit FinFET processors

TSMC and ARM announced today that they will extend their existing collaboration beyond 20nm fabrication to deliver ARM-based processors that use FinFET transistors.

More specifically, the collaboration will help ARM optimise the next generation of 64-bit processors that will be based on the new ARMv8 architecture, which was announced back in October 2011 (AMCC showcased a 64-bit ARM server prototype chip last year but I believe the mainstream vendors will unveil 64-bit models at CES early next year).

FinFET technology is TSMC's answer to Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate (which powers Ivy Bridge-based processors) and the first prototype was demonstrated nearly 10 years ago by TSMC. 64-bit memory addressing will be essential for ARM and its partners, as they attempt to crack the lucrative enterprise market where Intel and other Big Iron vendors currently rule the roost.

20nm is only an intermediary step, though, towards an even smaller manufacturing process. Back in January 2011, ARM and IBM announced that they would develop a "comprehensive design platform" for a 14nm node.