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FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding

6/29/2011 06:00 PM EDT
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t.alex
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
t.alex   6/29/2011 11:18:08 PM
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Fpga for mobile devices? What would be the advantages?

old account Frank Eory
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
old account Frank Eory   6/30/2011 1:12:25 AM
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Maybe the point would be to build early prototypes, win some customer business, and then dump the FPGA and go make a real chip :)

daleste
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
daleste   6/30/2011 2:02:42 AM
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As has been discussed before, to have a custom chip built in the technologies used in cell phones, it has to be very high volume to offset the design and tooling costs. An FPGA that meets the low power requirements could stay in the socket indefinitely. They would then have the freedom to make changes quickly as market conditions change.

mcgrathdylan
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
mcgrathdylan   6/30/2011 5:36:04 AM
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Nearly 18 months ago, Kapil Shankar told me that SiliconBlue had roughly 100 design wins (see url at bottom of post). He showed me evidence that at least some of these wins were for things like e-readers, cameras and other handheld, battery powered products. Some people in the FPGA world whose opinions I respect told me privately that they were skeptical of the number. Clearly, though, SiliconBlue is doing something right to be able to tell a story so compelling as to continue to attract significant funding. (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/programmable-logic-designline-blog/4033355/SiliconBlue-claims-100-design-wins).

eewiz
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
eewiz   6/30/2011 8:10:25 AM
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If they had 100 designwins in Jan 2010, we would have already seen products in the market by now. To take such another 18M in VC funding shows that they still cant survive based on their revenues itself.

Patk0317
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
Patk0317   6/30/2011 1:30:02 PM
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I think there must be a timeline to profitability or they would not continue to get funding. Perhaps the economy has caused that timeline to stretch out a bit. A lot of these tablet designs got scrapped and also if anything was in a Palm device that may have gone away with the HP acquisition. Given RIM's issues I am sure they scrapped some designs as well. That may be a partial explanation as to why you are not seeing products.

krisi
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
krisi   6/30/2011 4:30:23 PM
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I think there is a lot value in developing low power FPGA for mobile apps...yes, you will eventually get displaced by an ASIC if you start selling millions of pieces but until then gross profit margins will be very good, and opportunities will be plentiful, 100 design wins sound reasonable to me...does anyone know how exactly they differ from Xlinx and Altera? Kris

Robotics Developer
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
Robotics Developer   6/30/2011 5:43:47 PM
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Low power FPGAs are a good thing and more power (pun intended) to Silicon Blue for bringing another option to the table. If I remember my numbers regarding FPGA (or just plain old Gate Arrays): 1 in 10 opportunities results in prototype design wins, 1 in 10 prototypes results in production orders and 1 in 10 production orders reach the 100K or more level of volume. It really is a numbers game, so for 100 opportunities there may be 1 or 2 going to production. Just thinking out loud...

HaaS
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
HaaS   6/30/2011 5:46:02 PM
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In mobile, the saying "be quick or be dead" is a painful truth. With the changing landscape of mobile designs and the challenges faced by design engineers to meet area,power,performance having an FPGA targeted to mobile apps complements the system needs very well. The key differentiator for 'mobile' FPGA (assuming it meets all criteria of performance,cost,power) is enabling a feature expansion and meeting time to market pressures. Here's an example of camera and display sub-system that helps semiconductor vendors get to market fast http://www.synopsysoc.org/onthemove/

krisi
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re: FPGA startup Silicon Blue snags more funding
krisi   6/30/2011 6:51:54 PM
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I agree @Robotics Developer, my experience resonates with this statistics...so in 1 or 2 cases in a 100 you go to volume production and might eventually be replaced with an ASIC...but you still get revenue from the remaining 98/99 albeit at smaller numbers...it still should be good biz as margins could be high...Kris

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