Breaking News
News & Analysis

Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix

11/1/2010 01:58 AM EDT
25 comments
NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 3 Next >
More Related Links
View Comments: Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
TingLu
User Rank
Rookie
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
TingLu   11/1/2010 5:00:24 AM
NO RATINGS
It sounds to me that Intel is getting back to FPGA business. If everything goes well, Intel will likely buy Achronix out.

eewiz
User Rank
CEO
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
eewiz   11/1/2010 5:39:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Woa! Big Blow to Xilinx and Altera. The only reason I could see for Intel to do this is an Acquisition. As TingLu pointed out, Intel would have already reached an agreement with Achronix that they would buyout the FPGA startup later on. But then the question is why would Intel want to get into FPGA business!! Already they have many things to figure out with McAfee and Infineon WLS acquisition.

resistion
User Rank
Manager
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
resistion   11/1/2010 3:38:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Yeah I think going foundry was inevitable path for Intel, as it sees its bread and butter PC business model overwhelmed by apple-driven smartphone business model. Samsung also found it inevitable to relieve itself from the virtually suicidal memory market death spiral.

mcgrathdylan
User Rank
Blogger
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
mcgrathdylan   11/1/2010 4:00:43 PM
NO RATINGS
Great comments guys, thanks. I can't figure this one out myself. You have raised some issues I considered, but I have questions about both. @eewiz- If Intel's motivation here is to be back in the FPGA business, why do a strategic agreement and not just an acquisition? My first thought was that this was the first step toward an acquisition, but then I wondered, why not just pull the trigger? As Achronix CEO John Lofton Holt pointed out, if Intel wanted to be in the FPGA business, they would be. They would buy Achronix and/or another FPGA startup with (what is for Intel) loose change. So if that's the goal, why wouldn't they just do it? @resistion- In my opinion, this is more about the strategic importance of programmable logic than it is about Intel going into the foundry business. I think if Intel wanted to go into the foundry business, the company would make a big PR push and announce a division called Intel Foundry Services or something like that. If this was just about Intel generating some extra revenue through foundry work, I just don't think they would start with Achronix, which is, for all of its promising technology, a pretty small player. If Intel wanted to go foundry, there are dozens of other chip companies they could have started with that would generate more revenue. (For that matter, why not start with Xilinx or Altera?) My bet is this (my colleague Brian Fuller first suggested this to me and I think he is right): This is the first step to an eventual offering that pairs programmable logic with an Atom core in the mold of Actel's SmartFusion and the forthcoming Xilinx chips, both of which offer programmable logic and a hard ARM core.

resistion
User Rank
Manager
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
resistion   11/1/2010 5:10:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Indeed, Intel is testing waters in both aspects, FPGA and foundry service provider. It could have worked with Achronix from a distance, letting them use TSMC as foundry, or completely acquired Achronix, as mentioned well.

mcgrathdylan
User Rank
Blogger
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
mcgrathdylan   11/1/2010 6:15:40 PM
NO RATINGS
More info on this: Earlier today I was told that Achronix laid off most of its sales force about a month ago. I spoke to Achronix about this and John Lofton Holt was very clear that Intel is a manufacturing partner only and will not be doing any sales or marketing of Achronix products as a condition of this agreement. Holt also said that within the past 45 days Achronix did lay off several sales people. The reason Holt gave is that the company had been preparing to start selling 28-nm parts in the near future (and was staffing up for it). But when the Intel deal came through, Achronix scrapped 28-nm altogether and instead is preparing to be selling 22-nm parts in about a year. Essentially, they don't need all of those sales people right now because they won't have their new products in the original timeframe. Makes sense to me.

SZA
User Rank
Rookie
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
SZA   11/1/2010 6:17:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Indeed Industry is finding growing co-importance of Processors and FPGAs for future. And both FPGA vendors and Processor vendors are getting in to it. FPGAs jumped before with hard ARM and now Intel is investigating other way around (perhaps soon we see some stuff from AMD too in that direction). I agree with you Dylan and resistion. Intel is testing different ideas. Few weeks back we saw the Stellarton SIP with Altera, now a more direct sign with Achronix.

shirazkaleel
User Rank
Rookie
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
shirazkaleel   11/1/2010 7:37:47 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't think it is just about FPGAs. Achronix has important asynchronous logic IP that Intel could use in its chips so it could go clockless and thereby improve performance, but they'd have to learn about it and play with it. This would give them an opportunity to do so and overcome the "not invented here" syndrome that may exist amongst its own designers. Designers have shied away from using Asynchronous Logic even though the theory and methodology have been available now for some time; but Achronix has provided a trojan horse by which designers can be tempted to use the technology, the improved throughput being a big incentive.

gutieaphd
User Rank
Rookie
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
gutieaphd   11/1/2010 7:56:42 PM
NO RATINGS
I see a clear move towards Foundry Services. The China Fab was the first move in that direction. This announcement is the second. I guess Globalfoundries will encounter even more headwinds and TSMC beginning to see the ascend of a real competitor. Great move!

FPGA_BRAD
User Rank
Rookie
re: Intel to fab FPGAs for startup Achronix
FPGA_BRAD   11/1/2010 7:57:10 PM
NO RATINGS
This is interesting since at IDF they announced a deal with Altera to put an Atom and FPGA in the same package. "The PC giant also announced Stellarton, a system-in-package that pairs an Altera FPGA with an Atom to enable reconfigurable systems."

Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Top Comments of the Week