Do you recall my column from this spring titled Altera & Enpirion -- Great Things to Come? I just heard that we are starting to see the fruits of Altera's acquisition of Enpirion.
The thing is that, as wonderful as today's high-end FPGAs undoubtedly are, it cannot be denied that their power requirements are becoming ever more complex, with more power rails, tighter tolerances, more complex powerup sequencing requirements, and so forth.
When you consider that really high-end FPGAs might require 15-20 supplies, and that Enpirion's PowerSoCs offer up to 7X size reduction over competitor modules and discrete regulators, you start to see just how important all this can be. So it's jolly exciting that Altera has just announced four new reference designs based on Enpirion technology. Altera says these reference designs provide turnkey power solutions that offer the following benefits over competing power solutions:
- Power efficiency increases of up to 35 percent
- Board area reductions of up to 50 percent
- Overall bill-of-material bulk capacitance cost reductions of up to 50 percent
Power consumption and management is becoming such an overriding consideration that anything that can be done to make designers' lives easier while reducing risk and increasing product reliability has to be a good thing.