Embedded Systems Conference
Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
david.may
User Rank
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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
Author
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



Radio
NEXT UPCOMING BROADCAST
In conjunction with unveiling of EE Times’ Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. One of Silicon Valley's great contributions to the world has been the demonstration of how the application of entrepreneurship and venture capital to electronics and semiconductor hardware can create wealth with developments in semiconductors, displays, design automation, MEMS and across the breadth of hardware developments. But in recent years concerns have been raised that traditional venture capital has turned its back on hardware-related startups in favor of software and Internet applications and services. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.
Flash Poll
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Special Video Section
Chwan-Jye Foo (C.J Foo), product marketing manager for ...
The LT®3752/LT3752-1 are current mode PWM controllers ...
LED lighting is an important feature in today’s and future ...
Active balancing of series connected battery stacks exists ...
After a four-year absence, Infineon returns to Mobile World ...
A laptop’s 65-watt adapter can be made 6 times smaller and ...
An industry network should have device and data security at ...
The LTC2975 is a four-channel PMBus Power System Manager ...
In this video, a new high speed CMOS output comparator ...
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.