TSMC optimising 16nm FinFET design flows using PowerVR GPUs to drive mobile performance
Kings Langley and Hsinchu, March 25, 2013-- TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) and Imagination Technologies (LSE: IMG.L), a leading multimedia, processor, communications and cloud technologies company, today announced the next phase of their technology collaboration.
As part of this new phase of their relationship, Imagination will work closely with TSMC to develop highly optimised reference design flows and silicon implementations using Imagination’s industry-leading PowerVR Series6 GPUs combined with TSMC’s advanced process technologies, including 16-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.
Imagination and TSMC R&D teams will also work together to create fully characterised reference system designs, utilizing high bandwidth memory standards and TSMC’s 3D IC technology capability to demonstrate new levels of system performance and capabilities while retaining all the essential characteristics of power, silicon area and small package footprint demanded by high volume mobile SoCs.
As GPUs increasingly dominate the area, power and performance of next generation SoCs and the options available to designers using advanced silicon processes become more complex, design flows and libraries need to be optimally tuned to enable design teams to achieve the best possible performance, power consumption and silicon area in ever more demanding timescales. To address these challenges, Imagination and TSMC are investigating how the characteristics of the latest processes, such as 16FinFET, influence the design of high performance IP-based SoCs.
Says Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination: “Many of our licensees rely on TSMC to provide them with leading edge low power, high performance silicon foundry capabilities. Through advanced projects initiated under this partnership, Imagination and TSMC are working together to showcase how SoCs will transform the future of mobile and embedded products. We are delighted to announce our strengthening relationship with TSMC, and look forward to seeing the fruits of these projects benefiting our many mutual customers.”
“Just as memory drove silicon processes in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and CPUs drove processes further in the late ‘90s and ‘00s, high performance mobile GPUs for graphics and compute applications are one of the major drivers for our most advanced process technologies,” says Dr. Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, R&D. “We’re pleased to be working with Imagination, an established leader in mobile and embedded GPU IP, to understand how best to use PowerVR GPUs to work with us to optimize future generations of our most advanced process technologies, and advanced system design techniques.”
Imagination IP cores for next generation SoCs
Imagination is a member of TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance program, through which it has begun to validate all of its major IP core families so that TSMC’s customers can take full advantage of the results of this collaboration. Imagination’s IP portfolio is unrivalled in its breadth, including:
• PowerVR GPU (graphics processor) Series5, 5XT and 6 (‘Rogue’): the most widely shipped for mobile and embedded graphics and GPU Compute
• PowerVR VPU (video processor) Series3 and 4: the industry’s most widely deployed range of multi-standard video decoder and encoder cores for applications from mobile to ultra-HD
• Ensigma RPU (radio processor) Series3 and 4: the multi-standard programmable communications and connectivity technology for TV, radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
• MIPS CPU and embedded processors: advanced processor architectures featuring hardware multi-threading that deliver class-leading performance from high end Android-based applications processors down to small yet highly efficient embedded processors
About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies - a global leader in multimedia, processor and communication technologies - creates and licenses market-leading processor solutions including graphics, video, vision, CPU & embedded processing, multi-standard communications, cross-platform V.VoIP & VoLTE and cloud connectivity. These silicon and software intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive portfolio of software, tools and ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car electronics, networking, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors. Imagination's licensees include many of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEM/ODMs. Corporate headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry segment’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IPs, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s managed capacity in 2012 totaled 15.1 million (8-inch equivalent) wafers, including capacity from three advanced 12-inch GIGAFAB™ facilities, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC China, and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 28nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. For more information about TSMC please visit
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Director, Corporate Communication Division,
Tel.: +44 (0)1923 260 511
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