I had a briefing a few weeks back with Microsemi. These guys continue to innovate and impress. This briefing was to discuss their latest FPGA family, the
Igloo2, which is aimed at industrial, commercial aviation, defense, communications, and security applications. This family takes advantage of non-volatile Flash memory to reduce the power consumption while increasing the security. Other features include general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs), 5G SERDES interfaces, and PCI Express endpoints.
The company claims that “when compared to other 5G SERDES-based FPGAs under 150K logic elements, the Igloo2’s high level of integration provides the lowest total system cost versus competitive FPGAs while improving reliability, significantly reducing power, and systematically protecting valuable customers’ design IPs.” The power savings comes via a unique Flash-Freeze real-time power management mode.
These FPGAs require only two power supplies, versus the three that are often needed for competitive devices. A combination of Microsemi and third-party design tools further simplify the process.
So if you have project that could take advantage of this technology, this family is worth a look.
@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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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