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Intel's 22nm process enables high density fpgas with lower power consumption

Asynchronous fpga pioneer Achronix has unveiled the Speedster22i family, being manufactured on Intel's 22nm process following a deal between the two companies in late 2010

By accessing Intel's 22nm technology, Achronix can take advantage of its trigate finfet transistors. "It's the only fpga built on the process," said John Lofton Holt, Achronix' chairman and founder, "and the devices offer the highest density and highest performance."

Intel isn't just making chips for Achronix, it's also developing much of the hardened IP featured in the fpgas, including Ethernet, PCI Express and DDR3 controller blocks. "It is providing a complete turnkey service," Holt said.

There will be two Speedster22i ranges: the HD range, optimised for density; and the HP range, focused on performance. "Customers have asked us to launch the HD range first," Holt claimed. The first product to sample later in 2012 will be the HD1000, with more than 1million effective look up tables and 84Mbit of embedded ram.

Holt said: "We see opportunities at the high end of the market, but with devices the offer lower power and lower cost. In particular, we're looking at communications and test, where the HD range can be used as asic replacements."

There is also a focus on I/O. "We're providing more pins," said strategic marketing director Denny Scharf. "In the applications we're targeting, there is a huge need for comms and memory bandwidth; being forced to skimp on one or the other is a serious constraint. Designers need both and we're offering both." By adopting a large package format, Achronix can provide 1385 programmable I/O pins on the HD1000.

Author
Graham Pitcher

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