Communications Power

Low-Power Cost-Optimized FPGAs for IoT

Microsemi Corporation announced the availability of its new cost-optimized PolarFire™ FPGA product family, delivering the industry’s lowest power at mid-range densities with 12.7 Gbps SerDes transceivers as well as best-in-class security and reliability. The FPGA product family is suited for a wide range of applications within wireline access networks and cellular infrastructure, defense and commercial aviation markets, as well as industry 4.0 which includes the industrial automation and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

“Our new FPGA product family transforms the way the market thinks about traditional mid-range FPGAs,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president and business unit manager at Microsemi. “For the first time a non-volatile FPGA, with all its known benefits, provides tangible power and cost benefits over SRAM FPGAs that feature 10 Gpbs transceivers-thus delivering the differentiation necessary to cater to our customers’ ever-evolving requirements and simultaneously filling a void in the market.”

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs enable the company to increase its FPGA addressable market to over $2.5 billion covering both the low end and mid-range FPGA market segments. In addition, the innovative features of the new product family support Microsemi’s continued growth within the communications infrastructure market.

Today’s cellular infrastructure and wireline access networks are facing a rapid transformation, having to deliver terabytes of high value content to consumers while reducing operational and capital expenditure spend, as well as reducing their thermal and carbon footprint. Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs provide cost-effective bandwidth processing capabilities for the increasing number of converged 10 Gpbs ports with the lowest power footprint. The new FPGA product family also addresses the market’s growing concerns over tangible cyber security threats as well as reliability concerns that face deep submicron SRAM-based FPGAs as they relate to single event upsets (SEUs) in their configuration memory.

The new devices are ideal for a number of applications within the communications market, including wireline access, network edge, metro (1-40G); wireless heterogeneous networks, wireless backhaul, smart optical modules and video broadcasting. The devices are also well-suited to applications within the defense and aerospace market, such as encryption and root of trust, secure wireless communications, radar and electronic warfare (EW), aircraft networking, actuation and control. Ideal applications for the FPGAs within the industrial market include process control and automation, machine vision processing and analytics, programmable logic controllers, industrial networking, and video and image processing.

“PolarFire FPGAs enable customers to forego purchasing FPGAs with higher power and cost to obtain the 12.7G transceiver performance required for many mid bandwidth applications, while extending the benefits of our ultralow power, high reliability and high security,” said Shakeel Peera, senior director, SoC product marketing at Microsemi. “Combining the availability of the cost-effective PolarFire FPGAs with Microsemi’s broad portfolio of application-specific standard products (ASSPs) enables end-to-end solutions in timing, voice processing, storage, Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching and transport, and power management across multiple market segments.”

“In addition to developing leading-edge video compression, communication, test and measurement, networking and consumer products, A2e Technologies also supplies related intellectual property (IP) and design services to Microsemi’s customer base,” said Allen Vexler, CTO of A2e Technologies. “The promise of getting an FPGA from Microsemi with higher performance signal processing and input/output (I/O) capabilities at very low power consumption changes the way we think about developing streaming video products for surveillance, drones and DVRs―and it opens up a whole range of new possibilities.”

In collaboration with Silicon Creations, Microsemi has developed a 12.7 Gbps transceiver fully-optimized to be area efficient and low power, resulting in total power of less than 90mW at 10 Gbps. With best-in-class low device static power of 25mW at 100K logic elements (LE), zero inrush current and unique Flash*Freeze mode for best-in-class standby power of 130mW at 25 degrees C, PolarFire devices are up to 50 percent lower power than competing FPGAs for the same application. Microsemi also provides customers with a power estimator to analyze power consumption of their designs. After implementation, the SmartPower Analyzer can be used to access full design power.

The FPGA family also provides the industry’s best reliability with its inherent immunity to configuration SEUs. Additional features to aid with reliability include built-in single error correction and double error detection (SECDED) as well as memory interleaving on large static random access memory (LSRAMs), and system controller suspend mode for safety critical designs.

Leveraging Microsemi’s expertise in security, PolarFire FPGAs offer Cryptography Research Incorporated (CRI) patented differential power analysis (DPA) bitstream protection, integrated physically unclonable function (PUF), 56 KB of secure embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM), built-in tamper detectors and countermeasures, true random number generators, integrated Athena TeraFire EXP5200B Crypto Co-processors (Suite B capable) and a CRI DPA countermeasures pass-through license.

The devices’ cost-optimized architecture uses 28nm Silicon-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (SONOS) non-volatile process technology on standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS). PolarFire FPGAs also incorporate transceiver performance optimized for 12.7 Gbps enabling smaller size and lowest power, hardened I/O gearing logic for double date rate (DDR) memory and low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS), high performance security IP and the industry’s only low cost mid-range device with clock and data recovery (CDR) capable 1.6 Gbps I/Os.

Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGA product family is shipping to early access customers now and samples for general availability will be offered in the second quarter of 2017. Orders for samples can be placed immediately.

Microsemi Corporation
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