Filling the FPGA Funnel in the Midrange
December 11, 2023
We talked about this a little while ago, but it bears mentioning again, especially as a new entrant is being announced. There isn’t much development for FPGAs in the middle of the market. Products aimed at high end, with lots of compute performance are readily available. The same goes for the lower performance, yet much power-reduced, offerings.
To accommodate the midrange, oftentimes vendors will take what they provide for the high- or low-end, and re-jigger it to provide something for the midrange. In other words, they’ll take that super high performer and reduce the processing capabilities. However, that tends to miss the mark in terms of power consumption. The same can be said for the vendors who try to move a low-power device up to the mainstream. They easily hit the power number, but they typically fail in terms of performance.
While Lattice initially filled that need, the company has just one-upped itself with its latest family of hardware and software solutions. Two innovative mid-range FPGA device families built on the company’s popular Avant platform, the Avant-G and Avant-X, are designed for general purpose and advanced connectivity, respectively. With the product intros, Lattice announced new versions of its application-specific solution stacks for artificial intelligence (AI), embedded vision, security, and factory automation, each of which are expanded with new features and capabilities to help accelerate time-to-market.
Finally, Lattice released updated versions of its software tools and Glance by Mirametrix (a recent Lattice acquisition) computer vision software. New features of Glance expand its applicability across Edge applications for various markets. Updates include a new smart avatar privacy feature and 3D head pose for low power capability.
The available solution stacks are designed to speed development and time-to-market by giving developers a toolkit of hardware, software, and IP tailored to the needs of their application. To that end, the company announced four solution stack updates in AI with Lattice sensAI, embedded vision with Lattice mVision, security with Lattice Sentry, and factory automation with Lattice Automate. These updates include improved performance with upgraded an accelerator engine, expanded IP and reference designs, added security features, and enablement of more industry standards.
As the category implies, the Avant-G general purpose FPGAs are designed to enable a wide range of applications, thanks to its seamless, flexible interface bridging and optimized compute for system expandability. According to the company, the devices offer best-in-class signal processing and AI, flexible I/O supporting a range of system interfaces, while providing dedicated LPDDR4 memory interfaces at 2.4 Gbits/s.
The Avant-X FPGAs, designed for advanced connectivity, enable high bandwidth and security, with a feature set tailored to the needs of signal aggregation and high throughput. Devices in this family offer up to 1 Tbit/s total system bandwidth, PCIe Gen 4 controllers with hard DMA, and a security engine to encrypt user data in motion providing quantum safe cryptography.
The Avant-G and Avant-X FPGAs are both sampling today and are supported by the latest releases of Lattice’s Propel and Radiant design software. Note that these products were officially announced during Lattice’s recent virtual Developers Conference. The entire conference is now available in an archived version.