FPGA Platform from Lattice Semi Sets a New Standard for Efficiency

December 19, 2019 Rich Nass

According to Lattice Semiconductor, the company introduced Nexus Platform, the industry’s first 28 fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) FPGA platform. Along with the CrossLink-NX FPGA, which is built on that Nexus platform, developers have a solution for low-power applications. These applications involve embedded vision and AI, particularly those in the industrial space. Some of the noted architectural features include optimized DSP blocks and higher on-chip memory capacity, which result in power-efficient computing, such as AI inferencing algorithms.

A key feature of the FPGA architecture is the fast configuration for instant-on type applications. I/O configures in 3 ms and device configuration can be as fast as 8 ms. Nexus is developed on high-volume 28-nm FD-SOI process technology developed by Samsung. This technology features 50% lower transistor leakage compared to products based on bulk CMOS. For easier and quicker integration, Lattice is providing system-level solutions that combine design software and pre-engineered soft IP blocks with evaluation boards, kits, and reference designs. These solutions are aimed at areas like sensor bridging, aggregation, and image processing.

The CrossLink-NX FPGA provides low power, a small form factor, and high reliability. When you bring 5G into the picture, there’s a need for a solution like this for industrial applications that take advantage of cloud-based analytics. And when you can significantly reduce the data latencies while performing functions in parallel, those analytics become more feasible.

The first CrossLink-NX device is available in a 6x6-mm form factor, far smaller than typical devices targeting these same applications. A host of IP cores are available, including interfaces like MIPI D-PHY, PCIe, SGMII, OpenLDI, and demos for common embedded visions applications such as 4:1 image sensor aggregation.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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