John Heinlein, vice president of marketing for ARM's physical IP division, said the two companies have collaborated frequently in the past, but on a node-by-node basis. This is a much broader agreement, Heinlein said.
"Really what this agreement does is continue that relationship," Heinlein said. "In the past we used to engage on a node-by-node basis. This is a longer term, broader collaboration that can give us a lot more momentum."
The agreement will enable TSMC to optimize the implementation of ARM processors on TSMC process technologies, including ARM's Cortex processor family and CoreLink interconnect fabric for AMBA protocols, according to the companies. It also establishes a long-term relationship with ARM (Cambridge, U.K.)for the development of physical IP, including memory products and standard cell libraries targeting the most advanced TSMC 28- and 20-nm processes, the companies said.
The companies said they will collaborate on creating TSMC technology optimized processor core implementations for benchmarking of optimal power, performance and area. Typical implementations will target consumer-centric market segments including wireless, portable computing, tablet PCs and high performance computing, they said.
"We see this as a renewed commitment for a long-term relationship extending our relationship to the 20-nm node, which is really several years out," said Ching-Cheng Chai, a product marketing manager at TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan).