What’s in a name?

With the launch of the CrossLink programmable video interface, Lattice Semiconductor says it has created a new product category – the programmable ASSP, or pASSP.

Parts in the CrossLink range, the company notes, blend the flexibility and time to market advantages of an FPGA with the relatively low power consumption and functional optimisation of an ASSP. In this way, it continues, designers get ‘the best of both worlds’.

Essentially, CrossLink is an FPGA in that it is programmable by the user to perform particular functions. It is also quite similar to some other FPGAs on the market in that it includes hard blocks – in this case, MIPI D-PHYs – so the user doesn’t need to create them from the programmable fabric.

But there isn’t anything new about an FPGA with embedded hard blocks that addresses a particular application. So the term ‘pASSP’ seems to be more of a marketing ploy than a technology play.