Electronic Design
Low-Power FPGA Squeezes Into Mobile Devices

Low-Power FPGA Squeezes Into Mobile Devices

SiliconBlue’s 40-nm iCE40 mobileFPGA family boasts packages as small as a 2.5- by 2.5-mm, 25-ball ball-grid array (BGA) drawing as little as 15 µW for the LP (low power) series, which is great for sensor system support such as applications that utilize the MIPI SLIMbus interface.

The HX (high performance) series, available in larger packages with more I/O pins, targets devices like smart phones and tablets. The HX series also can handle 720p, 30/60-Hz data or 1080p, 30-Hz, single-lane low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS).

The FPGAs are available in a range of packages including BGAs with a 0.4-mm ball pitch. These RAM-based FPGAs also have their own on-chip nonvolatile memory. This low-power, one-time programming (OTP) memory can be programmed once an application is developed.

The chips also can be programmed using off-chip memory. This is useful for development and some deployed applications. OTP support allows a chip to be customized, such as including keys or identification information.

SiliconBlue’s fabric design is different from most other FGPA vendors. It does not include buffering on the interconnect. The HX fabric can run at speeds up to 150 MHz. The LVCMOS interface can run at 200 Hz. The chips are available with 640 to 16k logic cells.

The company’s iCEcube2 graphical development tool supports the iCE40 family. Silicon Blue provides a wide range of standard interfaces and modules such as LVDS, DVI, USB, or SLIMbus interfaces.

Silicon Blue

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