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FPGAs Use Flash Memory to Enhance Performance

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Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
The sweet spot
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 8:46:19 AM
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Looks like Microsemi hit the sweet spot here with improvements in energy consumption and security. Those are the hot buttons these days.

shehan
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Gold
Re: The sweet spot
shehan   7/11/2013 7:49:11 PM
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FPGAs always need compact cost efficient storage, I think it's a good idea to have Flash memory to store the data as it could be accessed at a great speed and uses less power. 

shehan
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Re: The sweet spot
shehan   7/11/2013 7:51:34 PM
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@Rob – Yes energy consumptions on Flash memory are much lower than energy used to power a hard disk. Hard disks have physical components such as the disk and the platter which needs power to fetch the data.

cadstarsucks
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Iron
This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 8:22:28 AM
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Give credit where credit is due!  They bought Actel!  It has been around for years, it's just that the blithering idiots in the tech media did not bother reviewing it!

etmax
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Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 9:19:49 AM
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Exactly, and why everyone doesn't do this is beyond me, because having to load from an external FLASH device at every power up before you can do something is just plain silly. They should merge this with NXP coolrunner technology to get low power and instant on with one power supply for all those apps that need instant on and want to keep prying eyes out of the design

cadstarsucks
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Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 9:33:37 AM
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the Actel parts were instant on YEARS ago!  The FLASH cells did not control the MUXes - the FLASH cells WERE the MUXes.

 

They have done it that wway for OVER TEN YEARS!  http://www.microsemi.com/document-portal/doc_download/130709-proasic-datasheet  (V3 from 2002)

etmax
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Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 10:00:42 AM
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Yes that's right, I remember a sales presentation then. We opted for Xilinx at the time because their tools were more suitable. I mentioned CoolRunner from NXP because apparently some of the power loss that occurs in FPGA's is due to MUXes and while the Actel approach is better than others, the digital gate technology from NXP uses much less power again at the expense of some realestate.

cadstarsucks
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Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 10:20:32 AM
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Sorry, I just get real pissy when i see people taking credit for other's accomplishments.  Fact is Actel's FGPAs were zero power back then.

For Microsemi or any of the other big players to brag about it is tantamount to false advertising.  Microsemi did not develope this, they bought it.  It is not new by any stretch.  That Actel fell is just another example of sales budget discrepancy. 

They had FAR superior products that what was on the market at any given time, they just did not have the demand to make them monsters.  Their flash structures made them naturally RAD hard, they were liturally the only game in town for that.

etmax
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Gold
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 11:13:55 AM
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Yep, remember the RAD hard line as well. You're right, there's too much of this happening, and not just in electronics. Remember when Apple tried to sue the world for using "their" windows & mouse concept? By the way, I like your handle :-) They bought OrCAD and screwed it.

cadstarsucks
User Rank
Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 11:32:36 AM
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lol thanks ... Puken-Redac put out crap 15 years ago and still does!

Apple has been shot down now for the rubberbanding crap and for price fixing e-books.  They will be apealing but hopefully will be laughed out of court.

Samsung has asked for a ban and now a University has as well... Serve them right if they have their entire product line banned for the christmas buying season!

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