With Altera and Xilinx FPGAs moving to 40 nm, that means more lookup tables (LUTs), higher performance, and lower power requirements/LUT. They target the highperformance FPGA market with high-speed serializer-deserializer (SERDES) support. Multiple soft-core processors will easily fit in these high-density chips.
Achronix’s 1.5-GHz Speedster is another contender at the high end (see “1.5-GHz FPGA Takes Clock Gating To The Max” at www.electronicdesign.com, ED Online 19952). It uses a unique pipeline architecture while taking advantage of conventional FPGA development tools and design processes.
At the other end of the spectrum is Actel’s Igloo nano—cost starts at less than 50 cents (see “FPGA Costs Half A Buck,” ED Online 20190). Even these small parts can handle some soft-core processors. Actel’s flash-based products support Flash*Freeze, enabling the FPGA to power down while retaining the output settings.