Design Con 2015
Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
david.may
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
david.may   3/10/2011 9:27:54 PM
NO RATINGS
People are willing to pay a premium for so called "reconfigurable computing" and simple availability to a mass FPGA IP of functions for untold task's made readily available on your app store. you just dont know you want it yet. why buy an app from the store that run's 10 times slower on the CPU, when you can have that FPGA IP assisted functionality loaded on the fly to make it 10 times faster (video encoding etc) apple seem to be well placed to start off this new profits mass "reconfigurable computing" FPGA consumer market off.

david.may
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
david.may   3/10/2011 9:03:04 PM
NO RATINGS
using the FPGA today on mass production makes perfect sense , rather than look as the negative, think about the potential for massive "reconfigurable computing" market share to finally take off. as one single example,instead of a fixed function antiquated ASIC that doesn't have that latest and greatest codec included when it was launched last year, you simply update your FPGA on the fly with that codec and sell your latest app with hooks to it as an add-on in your app store. new profit's, for everyone and happy customers that wanted that functionality, and so recommend that device to everyone they know generating even more FPGA growth markets, and all for the sake of taking that off the shelf FPGA and putting it on every PCB you make

FloatingNode
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
FloatingNode   3/4/2011 6:42:52 PM
NO RATINGS
People are willing to pay a premium for Apple-branded products. Considering the various revenue threats - product counterfeiting, subscription hacking (iTunes, AppleTV), laptop theft - the cost of adding a secure reconfigurable device is tiny. Without being any kind of expert on this topic (search on "physical unclonable function"), a few seconds of reasoning should make you not surprised, but wondering how to solve this *without* any FPGA.

Robotics Developer
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
Robotics Developer   3/3/2011 1:48:17 AM
NO RATINGS
The time to develop a full custom chip and the cost (NREs) are very prohibitive and make the use of FPGAs more attractive with even moderate volume(but short lived) products. Tweaks to the FPGA allow for last minute fixes that a custom chip does not allow.

Bob Virkus
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
Bob Virkus   3/2/2011 11:59:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Could have anything to do with their use of flash startup?

FloatingNode
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
FloatingNode   3/2/2011 2:57:35 PM
NO RATINGS
My guess is, it's related to hacker-proofing the laptop, akin to putting LoJack(tm) on a car. Authentication keys, anti-tampering, etc. Here's a link to a paper "SECURE FPGA TECHNOLOGIES AND TECHNIQUES" which cites TransFR(tm): http://ontwerpen1.khlim.be/~jvliegen/STRES/paper_FPL.pdf

old account Frank Eory
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
old account Frank Eory   3/2/2011 12:20:46 AM
NO RATINGS
But those would be field updates to hardware. It's bad enough that viruses can mess up your software environment, but this leaves open the possibility that they could mess up your hardware too :(

_hm
User Rank
CEO
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
_hm   3/2/2011 12:13:51 AM
NO RATINGS
It may not be very high volume to make ASIC. There may be few reasons for that - product life is short, FPGA price are lowering and Lattice may be offering very good price to Apple. Also, if it is new IP core like Thunderbolt, Apple may need to upgrade / fine tune IP core bug in due course and needs this freedom available in FPGA and not in ASIC.

FloatingNode
User Rank
Rookie
re: FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
FloatingNode   2/28/2011 10:55:44 PM
NO RATINGS
For downloading Field Updates using Lattice "TransFR" ?

eewiz
User Rank
CEO
FPGA inside Apple Macbook!
eewiz   2/26/2011 7:07:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Lattice LFXP2-5E FPGA inside new MacBook. I am surprised! Why would Apple use an FPGA for such a high volume consumer notebook? Any idea what exactly is implemented in this FPGA? http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Early-2011-Teardown/4990/2



Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Max Maxfield

Want a Voltera Desktop PCB Printer?
Max Maxfield
17 comments
I just received an email from my chum Javi in Spain. "Have you heard about Voltera (VolteraInc.com)? It's a Canadian company that is going to offer desktop-size PCB printers for fast ...

Aubrey Kagan

Have You Ever Been Blindsided by Your Own Design?
Aubrey Kagan
37 comments
I recently read GCHQ: The uncensored story of Britain's most sensitive intelligence agency by Richard J. Aldrich. The Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's equivalent of ...

Martin Rowe

No 2014 Punkin Chunkin, What Will You Do?
Martin Rowe
2 comments
American Thanksgiving is next week, and while some people watch (American) football all day, the real competition on TV has become Punkin Chunkin. But there will be no Punkin Chunkin on TV ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
15 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...