ARM has teamed up with Taiwanese foundry TSMC for the tape out of the first 20nm Cortex-A15 MPCore processor, only six months after the RTL stage was reached.
The implementation appeared to have been sped up using TSMC's own Open Innovation Platform 20nm design ecosystem. The first designs on the Cortex A15 are expected to hit the market in the second half of 2012 with 20nm and 28nm manufacturing processes being the likely choices.
ARM will optimise its physical IP technology to fit TSMC's 20nm process, which ARM reckons will help the Cortex-A15 processor provide more than a 100 per cent performance increase over past models.
Last week, ARM announced that it had extended its long-term IP partnership with another foundry UMC on 28nm, which will be the next logical step for Cortex A9-based SoCs at the beginning of 2012.
At the beginning of the year, ARM announced a similar partnership with IBM to produce a comprehensive design platform that scales down to 14nm.
Rival Intel has already taped out its first 22nm microprocessor, codenamed Ivy Bridge, one that uses a 3D-like technology called 3D-Trigate. Ivy Bridge is expected to be released in the first half of 2012.