Menta SAS and LIRMM have taped out what they describe as the of worlds first MRAM-based FPGA which has patent-protected circuitry enabling compact integration of MRAM and embedded-FPGA solutions.
Researchers at the Montpellier Laboratory of Informatics, Robotics and Microelectronics (LIRMM), in France, claimed in October that they have developed a FPGA circuit based on non volatile resistive memory cell.
Based on Menta's (Montpellier,France) eFPGA Core programmable logic architecture and on CEA-LETI and CROCUS magnetic technology, this first member of a family of MRAM-based FPGAs,is manufactured in CMOS 130 nm with magnetic junction in 120 nm and provides capacity of 1,444 LUT4, equivalent to approximatively 20K logic gates.
Developed in joint collaboration with Microelectronic department of LIRMM as part of SPIN, the large scale initiative for Spintronics devices supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR), Menta says this tapeout validates the possibility to stack MRAM technology over traditional CMOS logic and introduces to the market a new type of robust non-volatile FPGA.
"Taping out this first MRAM-based FPGA device confirms our intent to build a product strategy that leverages and complements our IP business," said Laurent Rougé, Menta founder and CEO. "One of the key benefits of developing an FPGA with MRAM technology, is that is enables high-density non-volatile FPGA based on leading edge CMOS technology nodes, unlike traditional Flash-based approaches only available on mature CMOS processes."
Mentas eFPGA Core IP is a programmable logic architecture IP core that uses its proprietary ultra-compact architecture to provide the SoC designer with post-fabrication flexibility at near ASIC performance.
It is customizable so a domain specific-FPGA (dsFPGA) can be used in a SoC with target applications features, and benefits in terms of area, power consumption and speed. The eFPGA Programmer tool suite configures the core and supports the tools used to map and place and route the design.
Menta expects sample of MRAM-based FPGA in the third quarter of 2010. MRAM-based FPGA will be supported with Menta eFPGA Programmer tool suite.
In May Menta SAS introduced a development tool suite - eFPGA Creator - that it claimed could be used to create customizable programmable logic architecture.