Over on the Chipworks Technology Insider Blog is an interesting post about the TI’s baseband processor for the Nokia 2610 GSM handset. According to an analysis by Chipworks, the 65nm device may have actually been fabricated by UMC. Chipworks see significant similarities between the Nokia/TI device and the Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA, which uses the 65nm processes from UMC and Toshiba.
Chipworks also noticed that the transistor structure on Nokia/TI device is slightly different than the other UMC devices that they have reported on. What does mean? Not really sure, but here are some possibilities to consider:
- UMC has used transistor structures similar to TI to optimize devices for low power (as in the Nokia phone), or their own for high performance (such as the Xilinx FPGA)
- TI and UMC may have worked closely together to define the process. UMC has used TI’s differential offset spacer (DOS) technology before, at the 90-nm node
- The front end was fabbed at TI, and the back end at UMC (a growing trend)