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Science And Tech

Ted Chen
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Science And Tech

TSMC introduces new IoT technology platform

The China Post/ANN | Ted Chen | Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

TAIPEI - Semiconductor foundry bellwether TSMC (台積電) yesterday announced a comprehensive ultra-low power consumption technology platform designed to cater to the varied applications of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices markets.

The technology platform is based on the company's existing 0.18-micron extremely low leakage (0.18eLL), 90-nanometer ultra low leakage (90uLL) nodes, and 16-nanometer FinFET technology, as well as 55-, 40- and 28-nanometer ultra-low power fabrication technology that are capable of processing speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. Radio frequency and embedded flash memory capabilities are available in configurations ranging from 0.18-micron to 40-nanometer, meeting device requirements calling for wireless connectivity at smaller form factors.

The company noted that as with its full array of ultra-low power consumption processes ranging from 0.18-micron to 16-nanometer FinFET, the technology platform stands up to the innumerable applications in the fledgling IoT and wearable devices markets.

According to the company, the technology factor is capable of delivering lower operating voltages by 20 to 30 per cent for devices during both stand-by and active usage, which translates to marked increases in battery life by two to 10 times, an especially important trait when much smaller batteries and form factors are demanded in IoT and wearable applications.

"Bringing such a wide spectrum of offerings to the emerging markets of IoT and wearables demonstrates TSMC's technology leadership and commitment to bringing great value to our customers in the form of ultra-low power consumption and ubiquitous connectivity offerings," said company President and Co-CEO Mark Liu (劉德音).

Intel's Outreach into China-based Rivals 'worrying'

Meanwhile, as TSMC gears up for a stellar fourth quarter, a report published by Goldman Sachs stated that prospects for the foundry bellwether as well as MediaTek (聯發科) are poised to be challenged by Intel's plans to acquire a 20-per cent stake in China-based Tsinghua Unigroup, a Chinese state-owned company administered by Tsinghua University that includes Spreadtrum Communications (展訊) and RDA Microelectronics, two rivaling fabless semiconductor companies.

Reports indicate that the move is designed to expand the adoption of Intel-based mobile devices, and jointly develop Intel's X86 architecture and communication solutions for smartphones.

According to the institutional investor, Tsinghua Unigroup is poised to produce early results in the X86 architecture in the first half of next year, and the company is poised to commit US$5 billion for Spreadtrum Communication's research and development efforts for the next five years.

Tsinghua Unigroup is also expected to halt initial public offering plans for both Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics.

Most notably, the report suggest that with the marked surge in research funding, efforts by MediaTek may be eclipsed by its China-based rivals as they accelerate progress toward releasing 4G mobile device chips.

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