Saturday, June 22, 2024

New Mid-Range FPGA Families Offer Enhanced Performance And Efficiency

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  • These mid-range FPGAs, set a new standard as the inaugural products developed on the cutting-edge 16nm FinFET Avant platform. 
  • The platform is meticulously designed to achieve unparalleled excellence in power efficiency, compactness, and performance, positioning these FPGA devices as the leaders in their category.

Lattice Semiconductor introduced an expansion of its FPGA portfolio with the Avant-G and Avant-X families, further solidifying its presence in the mid-range FPGA market. The company is renowned for its FPGA solutions, and these new families aim to provide enhanced performance, reduced power consumption, and a competitive edge in the ever-evolving field of programmable logic devices. The family is positioned as a versatile, mid-range FPGA solution, while the Avant-X series is tailored for networking applications, catering to the specific needs of this rapidly growing sector. These FPGA families fall within the mid-range category, defined as devices incorporating 100K to 500K logic elements, aligning with similar offerings from industry giants like Intel and AMD/Xilinx.

All three FPGA families, including the previously announced Avant-G devices, leverage TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process technology, boasting remarkable performance improvements and significantly lower power consumption. Lattice capitalizes on this advanced process node to deliver more compact device packaging, emphasizing efficiency. The company places a strong emphasis on reducing PCB footprint, offering small-form-factor packaging options. These FPGAs range from 11x9mm to 15x13mm, demonstrating the company’s commitment to providing space-efficient solutions that align with market demands. The features include:

  • Lowest power: Up to 2.5x lower power than competitive FPGAs in similar density
  • Packages as small as 11×9 mm (262k SLCs) or 15×13 mm (637k SLCs)AI optimized
  • DSP block enables 18×18 multipliers that can be split into four 8×8 multipliers
  • Fastconfiguration: I/O configures in 10ms, full configuration for 637k SLCs in 60 ms 
  • Available in Commercial and Industrial Grades

To compete effectively in the FPGA arena, comprehensive software support is essential. The company has invested in enhancing its software ecosystem, tailoring tools like Lattice Radiant and Lattice Propel to the specific needs of the Avant-G and Avant-X families. Additionally, a range of solution stacks, such as Lattice Automate, Lattice mVision, Lattice sensAI, and Lattice Sentry, offer targeted support for various applications, including industrial automation, embedded vision systems, machine learning, and platform firmware resiliency. However, one notable omission in mid-range offerings is a hardened processor core, unlike competitors like Intel and AMD/Xilinx. Lattice continues to rely on soft microprocessor cores, potentially leading to inefficiencies in FPGA-based systems.

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As the compnay seeks to expand its presence in the mid-range FPGA market, it faces the challenge of luring customers away from established competitors. The success of the Avant FPGA families in this endeavor remains uncertain, and the extent to which they can entice users away from Intel and AMD/Xilinx offerings will become clearer over time. Nevertheless, these FPGA families offer existing Lattice customers a broader range of options, enhancing the company’s position in the market and paving the way for potential growth.

Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Sondhi Gaur is a journalist at EFY. She has a German patent and brings a robust blend of 7 years of industrial & academic prowess to the table. Passionate about electronics, she has penned numerous research papers showcasing her expertise and keen insight.

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