New Initiatives for high computing applications begin, embedded FPGAs

By Pratik Gundawar
6 Min Read
New Initiatives for high computing applications begin, embedded FPGAs 1

Adoption of embedded FPGA (eFPGA) is on rising for carrying out high computing applications efficiently. Market players have taken different initiatives to improve their market share and gain an international presence.


The European Processor Initiative (EPI) selected Menta as a sole provided for eFPGA intellectual property provider. This will enable the utilization of eFPGA for commercial and automotive applications in which high computing is essential.

Moreover, new initiatives have been launched by Microchip to offer FPGA offering for a wide range of applications for the medical, industrial, broadcast, and other sectors. Market players have adopted various strategies such as collaboration to expand into new sectors.

Flex Logic has collaborated with the aerospace giant Boeing to implement its embedded FPGAs in various applications. The market for eFPGA is knocking through the roof with various initiatives.

According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global embedded FPGA market is expected to reach $301 million by 2024. Following are some of the activities taking place in the industry:

Selection as the sole provider to offer a competitive edge:

Various initiatives that aim for building high-performance computing application have selected a competent provider for eFPGAs. The participation is helpful for market players to gain a competitive edge in particular regions along with across the globe.

Menta SAS has been selected as an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) Intellectual Property (IP) provider for the European Processor Initiative (EPI). This initiative brings 23 partners from 10 countries in Europe with an aim to co-design, produce, and bring a system to support high-performance computing requirements.

Atos, CEA, BMW, and Infineon are some of the members of EPI. Philippe Notton, the general manager of EPI, commented that Menta is an ideal partner. The firms eFPGA technology aligns with the aim of EPI. Its ASIC-like design for testing and verification methodology would enable the success of IPs in advanced process modes.

The IP is offered on the advanced 7nm process along with verification carried out in standard ASIC flow. Commenting on the selection as a sole provider, Vincent Markus, the CEO of Menta, said that the participation highlights the ability to be utilized in any process technology.

The third-party standard cells approach is beneficial for many applications. The firm aims to drive programmability for high-performance computing and automotive applications.  

New initiatives to expand offerings: 

Some companies are launching their own initiatives for providing solutions to create intelligent vision systems. Microchip launched its Smart Embedded Vision initiative in which its low-power PolarFire FPGAs will be utilized.

The company’s high-resolution intelligent embedded vision FPGA solutions that contain improved high-speed imaging interfaces, extended partner ecosystem, and IP bundle for image processing.

A suite of FPGA offerings that incorporates hardware, IP, and tools for low-power and small form factor machine vision designs for various markets including medical, industrial, broadcast, automotive, aerospace, and defence. PolarFire FPGAs provide at least 30% to 50% less power as compared to SRAM-based mid-range FPGAs.

The new family of devices, ranging from 100K to 500K LEs, provide nearly five to ten times less power. This makes these chips an excellent option for compute-intensive edge devices.

Equipped with the PolarFire Imaging IP bundle and the high-speed imaging IP cores, its innovative design of MIPI-CSI2-based machine learning camera reference enables intelligent smart embedded system implementations.

The company’s extensive development tool, known as Libero SoC Design Suite, supports all smart embedded vision solutions.  

Collaboration to enable entry into a new market:

The aerospace industry has understood the importance of embedded FPGAs and the giant Boeing has become the first player to adopt. Flex Logic Technologies will provide 14-nm design, which will be produced at the U.S. fab.

The company outlined that the aerospace giant has licensed its programmable IP cores and embedded FPGAs that would be manufactured with the help of GlobalFoundries’ FinFET process at its 14-nm line.

The Defense Department initiated this new deal. It initially allowed the chips to be produced from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.As the tensions between Washington and Beijing are on rising, the deal involved the licensing deal with the shift to the U.S. fab. Geoff Tate, the CEO of Flex Logix, highlighted that the involved parties wanted a U.S. manufacturer.

However, it is not clear how the aerospace giant would utilize the embedded FPGAs, it is expected that the cores will be utilized for the development of various systems.

Flex Logix partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2017. The partnership aimed for development of its embedded FPGA technology for usage by government agencies and the U.S. contractors.

According to the partnership terms, the chips were manufactured with the help of 16-nm process technology of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Though Boeing has become the first aerospace customer for the cores of Flex Logix, the chip manufacturer outlined that the technology would be presented for other commercial applications.

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