@Rick, I was asking about Intel's plans with regards to tighter integration with FPGAs on the IDF article, and here is the answer :-) However, we need to know more about the communication links between FPGA and Atom. Also, how big is the reconfigurable logic fabric and what architecture does it use? What is the programming model of the Atom+FPGA? Is some kind of C-2-Hardware interface provided? The devil is indeed in the detail...
Good to see that many developers are showing what they have done with the Atom processors. But the tablet is already a known application with the Atom devices. Only the product features such as User Interface and Mechanical design looks appealing. I would like to see more like smart phones, hand held medical equipments to accept the Atom is really making some waves. Otherwise this is just like any other chip makers evaluation products but touted too much.
As always the devil is in the details. I am wondering what size FPGA? Will there be dedicated pins or a standard interface (PCIe,SPI,??) on the chip to bring out the FPGA pins? Having the FPGA will enable some speed and parallel processing for a number of applications like PWM generation, high speed interfaces, video ports,...etc. I wonder if the end user will be able to reconfigure the device or if that will be "fixed" at product production? It does lend itself to some interesting possibilities.
I think they just opened a letter from Texas Instruments asking them not infringe on TI's Stellaris trademark by having a name that is close enough to create confusion.
I also think it's cute that Intel is getting back in the programmable logic game. Their old CPLDs were actually pretty nice and had decent tools. It remains to be seen whether they come up with a price point that makes the CPU + FPGA combo practical, or whether it ends up a disaster like similar attempts by other companies.
It doesn't seem Intel will provide a special FPGA programming port. So FPGA is likely programmed through PCIe, which is great ideal to improve reconfiguration speed. But Altera has no such support in current product line. So it must be new feature in Altera 28nm/32nm product, which is not quiet ready yet. And there will be lots of challenge ahead such as tool integration, etc. So there is long way to go. Maybe Intel should just buy Altera as rumor indicated last year.
It seems that Atom Processor will become a Micro-controller for user portable devices like players, netbooks, projectors, mobile phones etc, it that happens then it will be very good for developers, as we are still using 8051 and pic as universal micro-controllers.
I like the idea but trying to think about how the users are going to get the benefit out of it. Smaller package and probably lower cost compared to using separate chips? What about the development tools? Will Intel and Altera integrate the development tools? I believe users also prefer flexibility for their choice of FPGA & processor for a specific application.