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Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two

Just enough FPGAs in SoCs
12/4/2012 03:45 PM EST
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krisi
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
krisi   12/4/2012 4:52:37 PM
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Going to the IP model is risky as you say Junko as that stretches your revenue stream significantly out...but if it doesn't kill you you will leave longer! Kris

me3
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
me3   12/4/2012 5:18:33 PM
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No demand for the physical chip? Who want the IP, Intel? Is Tabula's chip out yet?

junko.yoshida
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
junko.yoshida   12/4/2012 5:37:41 PM
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Good questions. At this point, Achronix is not naming names in terms of its potential customers or potential licensees. But there appear to be demands for their physical chip. Who would be the first embedded FPGA IP licensee would be an interesting story to follow.

Brian Fuller2
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
Brian Fuller2   12/4/2012 5:50:42 PM
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The IP strategy will be a tough, tough row to hoe... But remember, they're pretty much attached to Intel's hip and that's probably, long term, where the ip makes sense... especially as guys like Mark Bohr are saying the fabless model is dead.

me3
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
me3   12/4/2012 6:20:19 PM
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If intel can turn out 5nm FPGA fabric in huge quantities, there may not be a need for foundries.

resistion
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
resistion   12/5/2012 5:21:40 AM
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It may moot since IP will be more limited at smaller nodes.

kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
kjdsfkjdshfkdshfvc   12/5/2012 3:20:42 PM
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how so resistion, perhaps i don't understand your meaning/reasoning there ? lets say you have a given IP (Intellectual Property) for a generic SIMD engine with the same throughput as Neon, then as the node shrink's you can fit more interconnected engines together, and so less limited not more. you may want to give better discount's per cluster of SIMD engine as it shrinks to make your version more popular than the competitors in the global markets rather than the old school fixed pricing etc.

resistion
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
resistion   12/5/2012 3:46:09 PM
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Yes that's true by old school thought, but actually 28 nm and below, there are substantial material changes on all critical layers, plus litho constraints, you can't just work with any drawing you have.

fundamentals
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
fundamentals   12/5/2012 4:42:46 PM
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The last succesful FPGA start-up company was Actel, who shipped their first product in 1988. You could say "it's been a while since then". Indeed, but not for lack of trying. More than 25 start-ups have tried and failed. Most failed by the nature of their FPGAs, and a few failed by the market barriers erected by the four FPGA vendors. You cannot make a business out of FPGAs by making a new FPGA that is slightly faster or slightly cheaper than what is out there. To succeed you must double the FPGA performance or cut the price-per-LUT by half. Acronix long ago claimed to have done the first of these, but they could not deliver on that promise, even with Intel's fanciest process. So they change the business model to survive for a little while longer. Everybody comments on how tough the IP business is, but the FPGA business is much tougher. Their new tack is an acknowledgement of this fact.

Roba66
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re: Achronix 6 billion-transistor FPGAs: Take two
Roba66   12/5/2012 6:31:25 PM
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The devices announced by Archronix are designed for backend fabric, they are loaded with serdes. It seems odd that Holt is talking about mobile applications: power management is very weak in FPGAs, maybe they have a different kind of configurability in mind, to knit together some Intel IP. I have not seen anything about design software yet from this company, which is normally a big concern for FPGAs. It makes me think Intel may have more of a hand in the overall enterprise here than is evident at this point.

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