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Lattice expands ice40 range, targets sensor aggregation

Looking to address a growing need for sensor aggregation in a range of applications, Lattice Semiconductor has expanded its iCE40 Ultra range of FPGAs with a device offering 1.1Mbit of RAM, up to eight DSP blocks and more I/O than previous family members.

Available in a choice of three packages, the iCE40 UltraPlus is said to be targeted at devices ranging from smartphones and industrial automation to security and surveillance.

Michael Buckley, European sales director, said: “There is a need for more local processing, recognising that applications can’t send everything to the cloud. However, the more that’s done locally, the more power is used. This FPGA will find application where power is critical; for example, wearables or devices which run from a small battery.”

The device also features the I3C interface, introduced by MIPI earlier in 2016. The two wire interface is said to use one eighth of the power drawn by an I2C interface, while providing 100 times the bandwidth. Buckley added the part is the first FPGA to feature direct support for the MIPI D-PHY, capable of accepting data at up to 108Mbit/s. “It can also handle graphics for an MCU,” he added, “including frame buffering.”

Two device sizes are available – with 2800 or 5280 LUTs and with 21 or 39 GPIO respectively. Both are said to have a static power consumption of less than 75µW.

Meanwhile, Buckley said that RISC-V cores were already being built into memberfs of the ice40 family.

Graham Pitcher

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