Customize GPIO and Serial Interfaces in software

Everyone wants something different but mask costs at 40nm are close to $1Million.

Flex Logix provides a solution: map your GPIO differently for each customer and even implement additional serial-interface peripherals.  Write the RTL for the GPIO ports and serial interfaces required, use a synthesis tool and EFLX Compiler to generate the bitstream, then program your chip and now it runs the new I/O.  Customize I/O in minutes or hours at no cost instead of a near $1M mask in 40nm and 6-12 months.  This is the perfect solution for microcontrollers and IoT to give customers what they want economically and quickly.

In addition, the extra unused programmable logic could be used for implementing processing on the I/O enabling more rapid response and offloading the processor core.

Tony Kozaczuk, our Director of Solutions Architecture (previously Lead Systems Architect at Intel for multiple CPUs), has produced an application note detailing how to interface an EFLX array to the APB bus and some RTL examples of a 32-bit GPIO port and a UART which can be implemented in the array (and reconfigured at any time, say to I2C or SPI or ... whatever).  

Some customers have their own Serial I/O RTL but others have asked us to qualify Serial I/O RTL from Silvaco (which acquired SoC Solutions), which we have done.  The area and worst-case performance, in TSMC40ULP EFLX, is shown in the application note available from the link below.

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Click here for the app note: EFLX on APB Bus for Flexible I/O including Serial I/O from Silvaco (which acquired SOC Solutions).

Tony would be happy to talk to you about your specific application and needs in order to come up with the most effective architecture: contact Tony at to set a meeting or Webex.

To see a detailed example of a similar application, look at our IO-Multiplexing page.


Tony has finished up an application note showing EFLX embedded FPGA connected to AHB and AXI processor buses, with examples of several accelerators available from FPGA RTL IP suppliers who are partnering with us.  CLICK HERE FOR RECONFIGURABLE ACCELERATORS.