Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Recycling your FPGA!

Altera has launched its FPGAs into the higher volume market for PCI Express (PCIe), Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Serial RapidIO (SRIO) by 'recycling' its existing higher performance parts.
The 2.5Gbit/s ArriaGX parts are based on the same die as the existing 6.25Gbit/s StratixII GX parts, but run at a lower speed (reducing the test and support costs) and use lower cost packaging. This has significantly reduced the cost of the parts, putting it just 20% more expensive than the low cost Cyclone 3 family.
The five members of the family provide up to 12 full-duplex transceiver channels and start at $50 for the 50,000 logic element (LE) part. The family ranges from 21,580 to 90,220 logic elements, up to 4.5 Mbits of embedded memory and up to 176 multipliers, and is built on TSMC’s established 90-nm process.
The parts are included in the latest release of the Quartus II design tool, released today, and because these are based on existing die, start shipping in volume next month.
“What differentiates Arria GX devices from other offerings in the market is not one particular element but a combination of powerful attributes,” said Jordan Plofsky, Altera’s senior vice president of marketing. “Primarily, customers are getting a very reliable product—proven transceiver technology built on a proven process. Next, the price is unparalleled for such a comprehensive product. Finally, we designed it to maintain the best levels of signal integrity—each member of this family is available in flip-chip packages. These are the key elements our customers told us were most important for the applications we are targeting.”

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