This is amazing news. 14 nm is just a few atoms of width… At this level power-consumption is almost not an issue and devices will soon be able to run on body-heat, photovoltaic power or shaking.
“Samsung indicated that as part of its 14nm FinFET development process, the company and its ecosystem partners â€“ ARM, Cadence, Mentor and Synopsys â€“ taped out multiple test chips ranging from a full ARM Cortex-A7 processor implementation to a SRAM-based chip capable of operation near threshold voltage levels as well as an array of analog IP. The full ARM Cortex-A7 processor test chip tape-out represents a significant milestone for silicon manufacturing for the fabless ecosystem, Samsung said.
Besides trivial energy-consumption, this step allows ARM to compete head to head with Intel on performance should OEMs venture into the desktop/notebook markets for PCs. That started a couple of years ago and with the success of ARM for mobile computing should be huge in 2013. This will be the last nail in the coffin of Wintel.