Can eFPGA Transfigure Chip Designing?

As chips grow in size, for streamlining performance and power, chip designers require new options and methodology changes.    

FREMONT, CA: Companies in a wide range of markets including, networking, data centers, deep learning, and more, are rapidly embracing eFPGA because it significantly decreases the time and effort to bring complex chips to the market. With readily available programmable chips in any size and with the features customers need, chip designers now have the great flexibility to customize a single chip for different markets or even upgrade the chip to adjust to changing standards. Today, a handful of suppliers offer eFPGA platforms, for chip designers to pick as the best solution.

One significant problem chip designers face is reconfiguring RTL in the design process. Unfortunately, designers have no way of knowing this beforehand. Making these changed will cost millions of dollars and delaying projects by months. With eFPGA, chip designers can go into a project knowing that they have the flexibility to change RTL at any time during the project, which has never been possible before. A hard-wired chip is designed for a particular clock frequency, so when it comes to using an eFPGA approach, there should be fewer stages between the flip flops. However, eFPGAs can help simplify chip design, especially where there are large portions of the design with one block over another.

One of the real attractions for eFPGA is that it can be used in applications where the technology is still immature. Being able to program functionality in hardware is better than writing a series of software patches to a chip, and there is enormous value in being able to adapt to last-minute changes in protocols and algorithms after a chip is designed and manufactured. This is vital with technologies such as 5G, assisted and autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and anything at the edge.

eFPGA is sure to change the way chips, and SoCs are designed. Chip designers no longer need to be locked into a project and forced to spend millions to change RTL. Companies no longer have to risk missing their schedules when RTL needs to be changed. With eFPGA, the chip design process is being a whole lot easier and cheaper.

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