HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

FPGAs Use Flash Memory to Enhance Performance

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
The sweet spot
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 8:46:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Looks like Microsemi hit the sweet spot here with improvements in energy consumption and security. Those are the hot buttons these days.

shehan
User Rank
Gold
Re: The sweet spot
shehan   7/11/2013 7:49:11 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Gold
Re: The sweet spot
shehan   7/11/2013 7:51:34 PM
NO RATINGS
@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
User Rank
Iron
This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 8:22:28 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Gold
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 9:19:49 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 9:33:37 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Gold
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 10:00:42 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 10:20:32 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Gold
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/12/2013 11:13:55 AM
NO RATINGS
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
NO RATINGS
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!

cadstarsucks
User Rank
Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 12:32:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Well that sucks!  It looks like Microsemi is ditching the universal structures that Actel were notable for!  The Igloo2 the guy is raving about switched from the Versatile structures to bog standard LUTs!

richnass
User Rank
Blogger
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
richnass   7/12/2013 2:42:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Wow, I wasn't expecting a response like this. When you aquire another company, that technology becomes your property, whether you developed it yourself or not. That's one of the main reasons why you aquire another company. So, it IS Microsemi technology.

 

I'm aware Actel has been using this technique for many years. But this is a new addition to the family with a bunch of new features, which is why I covered itin the first place.

cadstarsucks
User Rank
Iron
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
cadstarsucks   7/12/2013 3:00:43 PM
NO RATINGS
Not if you ask me.  All Microsemi did was to take the Actel technology and apply it to their dinasoar architecture and call it Igloo2 as near is I can tell from the preliminary datasheet and user manuals.

One of the best things about the architecture was that it DID NOT USE LUTs!  I was able to look at the VERSATILEs and see that there was a way to create a progamable delay element that was contained entirely within the tile so as not be sensative to routing within the chip.

Using the Actel flash switches in their own architecture is fine, but dont go calling it an Igloo.  Call it the next gen of what ever crap architecture they based the chip off of!

etmax
User Rank
Gold
Re: This is NOT Microsemi's technology!
etmax   7/13/2013 5:22:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi, I agree with your sentiment that MicroSemi bought the technology and it is theirs to do with as they see fit from a commercial perspective, but in terms of "atribution right" used loosely from literature, the "idea" or lightbulb moment really belongs and will always belong to Actel. I mean this in an attribution context, just as the inventor of the zipper remains its inventor even if Levi chnages the colour and puts it into the manufacture of its jeans. To break this ownership link is to disrespect the ingenuity of the pioneers of the technology and makes the "we have money we buy and we own it" mentality of lawyers legitimate. It's the thinking that says in a first to file patent system that someone can spend a decade inventing and perfecting something only to have another file the patent and "own" it. I'm of course talking about a moral point rather than a legal/business one, and perhaps we should say that it wasn't Actel but rather the engineer at Actel, but it's usually a team and an environment that makes these things possible. Please don't think you shouldn't have posted, if it provokes thought and discussion (and no blood it let in the process) then it was all worthwhile. What is one man's piqued interest in a subject often develops a life of its own and is like a rabbit down a hole :-)

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Festo is developing small wind turbines for generating power to buildings. The model for the mini wind devices is the seagull wing.
An Israeli design student has created a series of unique pieces of jewelry that can harvest energy from default movements of the body and even use human blood as a way to conduct energy.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Help us recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 18 - 22, Embedded Software Development With Python & the Raspberry Pi
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service