More Customers Have Working Silicon & Are in Design
Harvard (in TSMC16FFFC, see below) and Sandia Labs (in 180nm, see below) are two customers that have working silicon using EFLX eFPGA. DARPA funded Flex Logix to build a 200K LUT4 (mix of Logic and DSP cores) in TSMC16FFC to demonstrate to Aerospace companies the viability of high speed, large eFPGA in a FinFET process: that chip is now available to all customers on an evaluation board to verify their RTL at speed and over voltage and temperature. There are others with working silicon who have not disclosed publicly.
More customers are in design. Boeing announced licensing GF14LPP EFLX eFPGA for Aerospace applications. HiPer, an Israeli consortium of companies including Mellanox, DSP Group, Satixfy, and AutoTalks, is designing a TSMC16FFC architecture and technology evaluation chip to evaluate EFLX eFPGA for several applications of interest to the consortium members. SiFive offers EFLX eFPGA arrays of various sizes for integration into their TSMC28HPC platform SoCs for reconfigurable acceleration.
The adoption of eFPGA has begun and is accelerating.
Sandia Labs Dragonfly SoC with eFPGA: Working Silicon
Sandia Labs licensed EFLX eFPGA for multiple SoCs in their proprietary 180nm process in their own wafer fab.
June 26 at DAC Sandia Labs and Flex Logix did a joint presentation on "Dense, Portable, Scalable eFPGA & the Dragonfly System-On-Chip": view the slides HERE. The Dragonfly is in fab in Sandia's own 180nm wafer fab. Dragonfly is the first of many SoCs using eFPGAS that Sandia Labs will do.
Harvard Flexible DNN using EFLX eFPGA: Working Silicon
Monday August 20, Harvard University presented a paper at Hot Chips: "SMIV: A 16nm SoC with Efficient and Flexible DNN Acceleration for Intelligent IoT Devices". The design was done in TSMC16FFC. They implemented several methods for neural network efficiency including a 2x2 array of EFLX eFPGA with two EFLX 4K Logic cores and two EFLX4K DSP cores with 40 22x22 MACs each for 80 total. The best solution of four was AON which will not benefit from algorithm advances: there is a tradeoff between performance and future flexibility. Of the more flexible solutions the eFPGA solution was similar in area efficiency to an ARM A53 and a quad-accelerator, but on energy efficiency the best of the flexible solutions by far is eFPGA (see chart at right)
Harvard's presentation is available to Hot Chips attendees and will be posted on the Hot Chips site in the future.
Harvard is working now on a follow-on neural accelerator using EFLX eFPGA again.
Working with Harvard, and with other customers, has helped us understand the needs for neural networks: we have developed a scalable, high performance Neural Inferencing architecture that utilizes eFPGA and our high-bandwidth XFLX/ArrayLinx/RAMLinx interconnects. This new architecture, NMAX™, will be launched November 1st at Linley Processor Conference: look HERE November 2nd for much more detail.
DARPA Licensed EFLX eFPGA on TSMC16FFC: Working Silicon
DARPA, the US government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, selected EFLX embedded FPGA and entered into an agreement for it to be made available to any company or government agency designing chips in TSMC® 16FFC for use by any branch of the US Government.
DARPA also funded Flex Logix to design and build a 200K LUT4 evaluation chip to demonstrate the feasibility of large, fast embedded FPGA in a FinFET process. That chip has been fully validated over voltage and temperature at high speeds: a validation report is available at TSMC ONLINE. Flex Logix EFLX4K IP Cores in TSMC16FFC are available now. The DARPA press release can be found HERE.
Evaluation boards are available now that integrate the EFLX200K validation chip (a 7x7 array of EFLX 4K cores: 182K LUT4, 560 MACs, 1.4Mbit attached SRAM, PLL & PVT) for customers to test their RTL on real silicon. Customers can either use the boards at no cost for short-term evaluation or can purchase boards. The evaluation board comes with documentation, examples, and test benches.
HIPER CONSORTIUM OF ISRAELI SEMICONDUCTOR & SYSTEMS COMPANIES SELECTS EFLX EFPGA on TSMC16FFC
The HiPer Consortium, made up of Israeli semiconductor and systems companies, including Mellanox, Satixfy, DSP Group and AutoTalks, will use Flex Logix® EFLX eFPGA in a 16nm architecture and technology evaluation chip under a license with Bar Ilan's SoC Lab which is also part of the HiPer Consortium. Bar Ilan is one of the top technology universities in Israel.
"After evaluating multiple suppliers of embedded FPGA IP, we chose the Flex Logix EFLX platform because it provided the best technical solution and offered the most scalability for a wide range of applications," said Aner Shoam, CTO of HiPer Consortium. "We are excited by the flexibility enabled by EFLX, which will allow us to customize a single chip for multiple markets and/or upgrade the chip while in the system to adjust to changing standards such as networking protocols."
See the press release HERE.
SIFIVE SELECTS EFLX eFPGA on TSMC28HPC for Platform SoCs
SiFive has selected EFLX eFPGA for it's customizable, open-sourced-enabled semiconductors for its Freedom Platform Chips through the DesignShare program which eases time to market and removes traditional barriers to entry that have blocked smaller companies from developing custom silicon. SiFive's Platform Chips are based on the RISC-V architecture. SiFive's Freedom U500 Platform chips for customizable SoCs are 28nm and the Freedom U300 Platform for customizable MCUs are 180nm. Flex Logix will provide several sizes of EFLX eFPGA arrays for each platform. Flex Logix and SiFive engineering teams are working together first to integrate eFPGA into a tape-out of the SiFive U500 base platform for customer evaluation using SiFive evaluation boards and software: more details to follow. Flex Logix will provide EFLX eFPGA for 180nm on demand for the U300 base platform. In both cases, EFLX eFPGA will connect directly to the processor bus and to up to 64 GPIO, enabling implementation of customer-specific reconfigurable accelerators (see Accelerators for information on how eFPGA provides speed-up of 30-100x) and customer-specific I/O subsystems, including programmable Serial I/O (see Flexible I/O). See the SiFive page for more details. Click HERE for the press release.
Boeing Licenses Flex Logix eFPGA for GF14LPP
Beoing has licensed Flex Logix’ eFPGA for GlobalFoundries’ 14LPP process. GlobalFoundries manufactures 14LPP in Malta, near Albany, in upstate New York State. Boeing joins a growing list of companies designing with EFLX eFPGA. See the press release HERE.
There are other Aerospace companies and US government organizations now designing or planning SoCs for GF14LPP using EFLX eFPGA. Get more information on EFLX eFPGA for GF14LPP HERE.
The availability of eFPGA on an advanced FinFET process manufactured in the USA is of major interest to US Aerospace companies who until now have not had access to American-manufactured FPGA technology. Market research reports show that almost 10% of FPGA sales by $ value are to Aerospace. And DARPA and others report that >30% of the IC content of Aerospace systems are FPGA. Integrating eFPGA enables SoCs to be made smaller, lighter, low power; and often integration breaks chip-to-chip I/O bottlenecks thus improving performance. Now eFPGA is available in an advanced FinFET process manufactured in the USA for those projects that require domestic manufacturing.
Flex Logix has been working for years with US Aerospace companies and government organizations: DARPA funded Flex Logix to demonstrate the viability of large, high performance eFPGA with a 200K LUT4 eFPGA evaluation chip on TSMC16FFC (which is available now on an evaluation board for customers to run their designs at GHz speeds). Sandia Labs contracted with Flex Logix to develop eFPGA for their proprietary 180nm wafer fab to develop multiple SoCs with eFPGA: the first SoC, Dragonfly, was described by Sandia at DAC 2018 (see below for slides) and that SoC is now out of fab and being validated.
Our support of US Aerospace companies does not limit our ability to support our customers worldwide: we have customers in Israel, China and other parts of Europe/Asia who are also benefiting from EFLX eFPGA. For customers in China who prefer domestic manufacture, EFLX eFPGA is available on multiple TSMC processes including 16FFC which is expected to be manufactured at TSMC’s Nanjing fab.
MORE CUSTOMERS IN DESIGN
There are more customers now in design. Check back for new announcements in the near future. Many more customers are in negotiation and evaluation - eFPGA adoption is accelerating.
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