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Looking for a Custom SoC Alternative to ASICs and FPGAs?

Looking for a Custom SoC Alternative to ASICs and FPGAs?

Developers of custom system-on-chip (SoC) solutions have traditionally had to decide whether to choose ASIC or FPGA technologies to implement their design.

The trade-off for ASICs is the increasingly high non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs and long implementation times versus the advantage of delivering fully tailored silicon that will offer the best performance and the lowest power dissipation from the smallest possible die size.  In the case of FPGAs, the benefits of lower up-front costs and shorter implementation times must be weighed against higher unit costs, larger device size and increased power dissipation.

What’s more, as CMOS technology nodes advance, the design gap between ASIC and FPGA is getting bigger, making it almost impossible for designers of mid-volume custom SoC products to select the right solution for their projects. In effect, traditional ASIC/FPGA technologies force SoC designers to place a bet on the success of their product. A wrong decision based on an unfortunate estimate of lifetime product volume could lead to commercial disaster!

There is, however, an alternative and complementary approach that can offer the best of both worlds and eliminate the technology gamble – Fit-Fast Structured Array™ or FFSA™.

Positioned between ASICs and FPGAs, FFSA features ASIC-like computational performance with low power dissipation at reduced design cost and affordable unit prices. Custom SoC designs traditionally targeting an ASIC solution can benefit from the reduced design cost and fast turn-around times associated with FFSA devices. Custom SoC designs preferring an FPGA solution can benefit from its low power dissipation and low unit price.

FFSA is not in competition with either ASICs or FPGAS – instead it can be seen as a supplementary solution that can be used for risk mitigation and cost management on the way from low- to high-volume production. Easy mapping of FPGA to FFSA allows FPGAs to be used for development, while FFSA+ allows the technology to be embedded into a fully tailored ASIC with custom floorplan and die size.

To find out more, why not download our whitepaper ‘A Custom SoC Design Alternative to ASIC and FPGA’?

Click here to find out more about 'A Custom SoC Design Alternative to ASIC and FPGA'

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