UMC teams up with ARM, Synopsys to develop 14 nanometer process
United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC, ), Taiwan’s second largest contract chip-maker, is joining with British chip designer ARM Holdings Plc. and U.S.-based software developer Synopsys Inc. to develop the advanced 14 nanometer process.
In a statement released Monday, UMC said it and ARM aim to finalize a process qualification vehicle (PQV) test chip on UMC’s 14nm FinFET (FinField-effect-transistor) technology to help validate an ARM Cortex-A family core on the technology.
The FinFET technology is a 3D transistor structure that allows a chip to run faster than previously possible on the same amount of power or to run at the same speed on reduced power.
UMC said it has also worked with Synopsys to include the U.S. firm’s DesignWare Embedded Memory IP and its DesignWare memory system test and repair solution on the Taiwanese chip-maker’s 14-nanometer (nm) FinFET PQV.
According to UMC, the PQV provides additional silicon data, enabling the chip-maker to fine tune its 14-nm FinFET process for optimal power, performance and area.
UMC said that through the collaboration with ARM and Synopsys, it will advance its 14nm process technology and speed up the pace at which it serves its clients.
UMC’s 14nm FinFET process has already demonstrated favorable 128mb SRAM (static random access memory) yields and is expected to be ready for customer tape-out by late 2015, the company said.
Unlike its rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,
), UMC skipped the 20nm process and advanced directly to the development of the 14nm FinFET process in a bid to close its tech- nology gap with TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.
Analysts said the move to team up with ARM and Synopsys is expected to help UMC achieve its target to launch commercial production of chips made on the 14nm FinFET process in 2016.
As of 12:01 p.m., shares of UMC had added 0.76 percent to NT$13.25 (US$0.43) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the weighted index was up 0.59 percent at 9,397.17.