Product of the Week: Lattice Semiconductor Avant FPGA Platform

December 06, 2022

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Product of the Week: Lattice Semiconductor Avant FPGA Platform

Machine learning inference, video processing, and edge networking workloads are built on ultra-reliable data transfer capabilities, be it on chip between memory and logic elements or off chip to peripherals or other devices. Requirements vary by application and even function, making flexibility in processing performance and power consumption, memory operations, and interconnect support foundational to the success of any embedded edge system.

The low-power mid-range density FPGA platform, Lattice Avant™ from Lattice Semiconductor fits the bill as a programmable foundation for memory, connectivity, I/O, and workload acceleration.

Available with 200k to 500k logic cells, Lattice Avant combines mid-range logic density with up to 1800 18 x 18 fully-pipelined accelerators that run at 625 MHz to provide ample DSP performance. However, those accelerators can also be reconfigured as three 9 x 9 or four 8 x 8 multipliers with an 18-bit pre-adder and 48-bit accumulator depending on the use case. These programmable blocks are accompanied by 14 to 36 Mb of embedded memory organized into 36 Kbit blocks.

Augmenting that embedded memory is a hardened MEMPHY and flexible soft controller that support ECC DDR4, LPDDR4, DDR5 interfaces at data transfer speeds up to 2.4 Gbps (2400 Mbps). This results in ample read/write throughput for applications like video processing and machine learning inferencing that access memory frequently. For system retrofits, the Avant platform also works with legacy DDR3L and LPDDR2.

On the external data transfer front, 25 Gbps multi-protocol SerDes compatible with standards like hardened PCIe Gen 4 as well as 25 GbE, DisplayPort/embedded DisplayPort, SLVS-EC, CoaXPress, JESD204B/C, eCPRI/CPRI, SyncE, and others, provide the flexibility to ingest and export data from a variety of systems and peripherals at high bandwidth, while fast programmable I/O supports variety of interfaces including 1.6 Gbps LVDS/subLVDS, LVDS 7:1, 1.8 Gbps MIPI D-PHY, I3C, SGMII, and more.

In short, the Lattice Avant platform supports the bandwidth the move edge data where it needs to be and the internal logic to transform it into actionable intelligence, all with the flexibility to fit most any use case or environment and all in packages as small as 11 mm x 9 mm.

The Lattice Avant FPGA Platform in Action

The programmability of the Lattice Avant platform comes back into play for developers looking to minimize power consumption as on-chip LUTs can be implemented with four as opposed to six inputs, which requires just 16 SRAM bits to the former's 64 SRAM configuration bits. These techniques join architectural innovations such as the use of 16 nm process technology optimized for low leakage as well as higher fanout internal nets and small multiplexers that yield higher capacitance and lower overall power.

The Avant FPGA platform also supports an array of encryption algorithms including AES256-GCM, ECC, and RSA, which can be used for authentication of the device as well as the FPGA's configuration bitstream. Additional security features include a physically unclonable function (PUF), True Random Number Generator (TRNG), and hardened crypto engines for protecting and authenticating user data.

Meanwhile, soft error detection and correction mechanisms ensure quick remediation of that environmental effects that cause soft errors to maximize component and system uptime.

Getting Started with the Lattice Avant FPGA Platform

The Avant FPGA platform is supported by the Lattice Radiant FPGA design software, which guides users through the design flow in a modular, wizard-driven GUI that progresses from design creation through synthesis and constraint entry to programming and debug. The Radiant environment serves to accelerate optimization and analysis of the design architecture and timing, including, for example, assembly, place, and route of internal memory blocks.

The Lattice Propel SDK also supports the Avant platform, offering hardware and software developers the ability to instantiate IP using correct-by-construction design methodologies via graphical or command-line tools.

The Lattice Avant-E family is available now in commercial and industrial grades, targeting use cases such as machine vision, industrial robotics, PLCs, automotive networking, software-defined radios, and general wireless networking applicaitions like 5G base stations and indoor small cells.

To learn more about the Lattice Avant platform, check out the product page, white paper, and other resources below. Or if you're ready to get your hands dirty, inquire about an Avant-E evaluation board.

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