ForgeFPGA marks Renesas’ entry to the FPGA market 

FPGAs with supporting software with no license fees have been introduced by Renesas Electronics. According to the company, the low-cost, low power devices will address the underserved market need for relatively small amounts of programmable logic that can be quickly and efficiently designed into cost-sensitive applications.

The ForgeFPGA devices will provide dramatic cost savings versus other alternatives, including non-FPGA designs. The high level of integration reduces overall board and system costs, says the company, with projected price in volume under $0.50, opening up applications in high volume consumer and IoT applications, which may not have used FPGAs.

The ForgeFPGA Family will serve applications that require less than 5,000 gates of logic, with initial device sizes of 1K and 2K look up tables (LUTs). Standby power of less than 20 microA is projected for the first devices. This figure is about half the power of competing devices, says Renesas. 

Users will be able to download the development software at no cost and with no license fees. The software offers two development modes to accommodate new and experienced FPGA developers. There is a macrocell mode that uses a schematic capture-based development flow, and an HDL mode with a familiar Verilog environment for users experienced in FPGA design.

The ForgeFPGA Family development team is the same group that introduced the GreenPAK programmable mixed-signal devices at Silego Technology, which came into the Renesas portfolio as part of the recent Dialog Semiconductor acquisition. 

Steve Leibson, principal analyst at TIRIAS Research, believes the  FPGA line will appeal to companies who just need a bit of programmable logic “a thousand gates or so” for a variety of products including billions of embedded sensors and IoT devices.

ForgeFPGA engineering samples are available now. There are also beta design software and a prototype development kit. The first ForgeFPGA device, the 1K LUT version, is expected to be available in production quantities in Q2 2022. 

Renesas Electronics delivers embedded design with semiconductors that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. The company specialises in microcontrollers, analogue, power, and SoC products for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications.

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