Intel went FinFET (or tri-gate transistors as they call them) at 22nm with Ivy Bridge, and now the #1 foundry, TSMC, and the #2 foundry, UMC, will also go to FinFET for the next gen 20 nm process. However, mass production of 20nm ARM chips will probably not happen until 2014, considering 28nm is barely here in 2012, and it usually takes 2 years for the new process technology to be ready.
Apparently, the planar FinFET technology that these foundries intend to use is better suited for mobile SoC’s, like the ones from ARM, and it should bring a performance improvement of at least 15%-20% over Intel’s own FinFET [...]
TSMC is the largest foundry in the world, and it’s usually the main company that Nvidia, Qualcomm and others turn to when they want their chips manufactured. As an IP vendor, ARM has to work close with TSMC, much earlier than their IP clients, so they can prepare everything for the transition to the new chip architectures and the new process technologies.
While we’re currently only on 28nm/32 nm, ARM has been working with TSMC and others for the next-gen 20nm/22nm process, and also for the 14nm/15nm process, which are still many years away. As chip makers create smaller and smaller processes, it becomes ever harder to shrink the chips, while maintaining or [...]
By now, we all know that Qualcomm has trouble satisfying the high demand for its S4 processors, which come integrated with LTE. The Snapdragon S4 is the only chip with this feature, so most manufacturers that want to launch their phones in the USA right now have no choice but to go with Qualcomm. That includes even Samsung and their Galaxy S3 phone, although Samsung makes its own chips usually.
Qualcomm doesn’t want to leave so much money on the table, knowing that the longer the chip demand is higher than the supply, the more (potential) revenue they stand to lose. We’ve heard persistent rumors that Qualcomm is looking to diversify its manufacturing [...]