The folks at Lattice Semiconductor say that -- since December 2011 -- they have shipped 15 million iCE FPGA devices, including its flagship ultra-low density iCE40 FPGA family, making this the company’s fastest shipping product of the past decade. (I'm glad I'm not the guy in charge of shipping in their mail room!)
They say that this extraordinary success reflects unprecedented adoption of the iCE40 devices for use in mobile consumer applications, which represent the overwhelming majority of device shipments.
Demonstrations of the iCE40 devices in a variety of applications will be on display in Lattice’s “Mobile Innovation” private meeting suite at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) January 8-11 in Las Vegas. Lattice suite 2980 will be located in the East Tower, Las Vegas Hotel. To register for a specific time to visit with Lattice and discuss how mobile innovation can help with your specific design challenges, please visit Lattice Mobile Innovation.
The iCE40 FPGA family is designed for applications that have the most aggressive power, cost and footprint requirements. Ideally architected for smartphones, tablets, digital still cameras, and other space and power constrained systems, the iCE40 family uses a highly power and cost optimized fabric. The iCE40 device enables innovative implementations for functions such as sensor control, processing and management, and off-loading of video and image processing from the application processor, while also enabling custom connectivity and memory/storage expansion.
“Lattice has invested significantly and is alone in meeting the low power and small form factor requirements necessary for broad deployment of FPGAs in mobile and consumer product designs,”
said Mustafa Veziroglu, Lattice Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “Using our FPGAs, designers are free to innovate without waiting for the next generation of application processors, and this means their products get to market faster with the features consumers want today. We are extremely gratified at the widespread and enthusiastic adoption of our iCE40 devices, which establishes Lattice as the clear leader in the ultra-low density FPGA market.” A new breed of FPGAs for mobile innovation
The relentless demand to design consumer and mobile products with new and differentiating features produces very short product development cycles, and the pressure to meet these schedules leads to more reliance on standard chips – i.e. fully loaded application processors. But this creates a dilemma: application processor chipsets take two to three years to develop, which means that any device available today was defined two or three years ago – and that, given the breakneck pace of consumer demand, is an eternity.
So, what is the designer of consumer and mobile products to do? In order to meet unforgiving schedules, readily available chipsets must be used. But yesterday’s application processors often fail to meet today’s market demands.
One approach would be to use an FPGA as a “companion” to the application processor, enabling designers to respond to contemporary consumer demand without waiting years for new chipsets. But, until recently, this was not an option. FPGAs were simply too big, too expensive and too power-hungry for use in consumer devices.
Now, however, FPGAs like the Lattice MachXO2 and iCE40 devices are specifically targeted at the needs of small, inexpensive, power-sensitive consumer devices. This new breed of FPGA can be used to supplement an application processor and enable designers to pursue continuous “mobile innovation.”Hands-on examples of mobile innovation
In the Lattice suite, visitors will have the opportunity to speak directly with Lattice senior executives and technical specialists about their own design requirements, in addition to viewing demonstrations of design solutions that leverage Lattice’s broad portfolio of low density and ultra-low density FPGA devices, including:
- MIPI CSI-2 image sensor bridge solution that enables low cost, high quality image sensors to be used in applications such as home security cameras
- Smart sensor hub design that manages sensor traffic, minimizing the application processor workload
- Conversion algorithm that converts standard 2D video to simulated 3D video without the need for glasses
- Image sensor extender for remotely locating a camera up to 10 meters from an ISP – ideal for adding a camera on top of a large screen TV
To register for a specific time to visit with Lattice and discuss how mobile innovation can help with your specific design challenges, please visit Lattice Mobile Innovation
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