Embedded FPGA IP accelerates SoC development

Embedded FPGA (eFPGA) IP for integration into customers’ SoCs is available as Achronix releases Speedcore eFPGA IP, designed for compute and network acceleration applications.

According to the company, it improves throughput and latency performance by 10X, reduce power by 50 per cent and reduce cost by 90 per cent, compared with the company’s earlier Speedster 22i FPGAs.

The eFPGA products are supported by the company’s ACE design tools. A custom, full-featured version of the tools can be used to design, verify and program the functionality of the Speedcore eFPGA.

The IP allows customers to specify the optimal die size, power consumption and resource configuration required for the end application. They can define the quantity of look-up-tables (LUTs), embedded memory blocks and DSP blocks. They can also define the Speedcore aspect ratio, I/O port connections and can make trade-offs between power and performance. A GDS II of the Speedcore IP allows users to integrate directly into the SoC.

Speedcore has direct wire connections to the SoC, which eliminates the large programmable I/O buffers found in standalone FPGAs, says the company. Programmable I/O circuitry accounts for half of the total power consumption of standalone FPGAs. By being sized to the requirements of the customer’s end application, customers can tune the process technology to balance performance for lower power.

The IP is also claimed to offer dramatically higher interface performance than standalone FPGAs in the form of lower latency. It is connected to the ASIC through a wide parallel interface; standalone FPGAs typically connect through a high latency SerDes structure.

To lower system cost, whereas standalone FPGAs have high pin counts which dictate the PCB layer count to support the FPGA BGA package escape routing, this iteration eliminates the need for all of the support components around the FPGA including power regulators, clock generators, level shifters, passive components and FPGA cooling.



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