Mid-range FPGAs target Edge Compute Systems

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Microchip has unveiled a new low-density PolarFire FPGA, with the device consuming half the static power of alternatives while providing, what the company claims, is the world’s smallest thermal footprint.

Edge compute systems need compact programmable devices with low power consumption and a small enough thermal footprint to eliminate fans and other heat mitigation while providing robust compute horsepower.

Microchip has sort to address this by cutting static power consumption for its mid-bandwidth Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and FPGA System-on-Chip (SoC) devices by half while giving them an extremely small thermal footprint, yet delivering the compute horsepower needed.

“Our new PolarFire FPGAs and FPGA SoCs reduce our customers’ system costs while enabling them to solve difficult thermal management challenges without having to forfeit bandwidth,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “We have reduced power consumption by up to 50 percent or more with the introduction of lower density offerings, while maintaining best-in-class capabilities on these platforms.”

The PolarFire FPGAs (MPF050T) and PolarFire SoC (MPFS025T) are said to exceed the performance/power metrics of any low-density FPGA or SoC FPGA alternatives in the market, with fast FPGA fabric and signal processing capabilities, more capable transceivers and the industry’s only hardened application class RISC-V architecture-based processor complex with 2 megabytes (MB) of L2 cache and Low-Power DDR4 (LPDDR4) memory support.

Extending the portfolio with a 25K logic elements multi-core RISC-V SoC and a 50K logic elements FPGA will help to open up new application possibilities and have been designed for low-power smart embedded vision applications and thermally constrained automotive, industrial automation, communications, defence and IoT systems where neither power nor performance can be compromised.

Developers can begin designing with Microchip’s PolarFire FPGAs and FPGA SoCs now using the company’s recently released Libero 2021.2 software tools, which are available on the company’s website.

Volume shipment of production silicon is scheduled for the first calendar quarter of 2022.