Held every two years, Electronica – one of the largest and most anticipated trade shows in the industry – attracts thousands of companies and tens of thousands of attendees, including over 700 journalists from 34 countries.
Now, Electronica 2010 –– is racing toward us. This year it will be held from November 9 through November 12 in Munich, Germany, and the folks at Lattice Semiconductor intend to blow our socks off with their latest and greatest FPGA offerings.
The folks from Lattice will be in Hall A4, Stand (Booth) 571, with plans to exhibit, display and demonstrate their complete product portfolio of products that can reduce bill-of-materials (BOM) costs over 50%, drive down power consumption by an order of magnitude, and slash weeks off design cycles. Products featured will include the LatticeECP3 FPGA family and a number of other products, including the recently released Platform Manager devices (see also my blog, How exciting – a new mixed-signal programmable device family).
The guys and gals at Lattice say that they will also have on display development kits and evaluation boards that cover a broad range of products and applications, including PCI Express; power management; ispMACH 4000 CPLDs, the LatticeXP2 non-volatile FPGA family; display control, graphics and video applications, and more.
Also available at the Lattice booth will be the just-published book, Power 2 You – a comprehensive guide to power management applications and design solutions.
You can't compare Platform Manager with a microcontroller+ADC, because these devices perform different functions.
Platform Manager can integrate board management functions such as hot-swap controller, supervisor, power feed controller, supervisor and sequencing, as well as reset sequencing, fault logging, providing interface to memory mapped I/O, etc. The voltage monitoring is performed using precision comparators that detect faults within a few 10s of microseconds and prevents the main processor from corrupting flash memory.
A microcontroller with ADC really cannot be used to monitor for supply faults because its response time for detecting faults is determined only by the interval between voltage monitoring interrupts. It cannot be used for any other board power management functions such as power feed, hot swap etc.
In general, a microcontroller is good for performing some of the management tasks that can tolerate response times commensurate with the microcontroller's response times. However, for applications that need real time voltage monitoring with response times of less than 100 microseconds, that is best done with hardware comparators.#
I'm scratching my head over the Platform Manager.
At a monster 128 pins (!), for the smallest version, and a narrow Vcc spec, and a price of $3.75/volumes, (vs alternatives like 12 bit ADC/32bit uC/wider Vcc for 50c/volumes) - I'm trying to think what Power Manager question, has the Lattice part as the answer ?
I can think of some Power Inverter apps, but the
CPLD clock is only 250KHz, and the FPGA specs adequate fabric speeds, but makes no mention of a PLL clock to generate those speeds.
Going through the related article "Lattice Platform Manager aims to cut BoM by 50 percent" by Colin Holland posted on 10/12/2010 I understand why they talked about 50% BOM cost reduction...this is only true if the user has requirement implementing all those functions (hot swap, voltage monitoring, supply or'ing, supply sequencing etc.) in his/her design.
Reducing bill-of-materials (BOM) costs over 50% would really be great...but isn't it lot of promise? I understand Lattice has the unique power management & programmable analog IC options to offer in their portfolio. Unfortunately I could not get a chance to find them in my designs. Anybody who has used the programmable analog ICs want to share experience?
I'm sure Lat won't keep anything secret for long. (I'll pass on yr msg Max). Heck of a show though, miles and miles of it. Too much of a good thing, probably, discipline essential otherwise you don't get anything done. Good opportunity to meet a lot of Far East companies. Also you see lot of smaller, local Euro outfits you don't see in the global press.
This sounds like an event that is not to be missed. It's too bad it is taking place in Germany and I won't be able to attend this year. Will Lattice be presenting the same information at any U.S.-based trade shows this year?
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