The hottest programmable technology breaks the coc

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Programmable technology "breaks the cocoon and becomes a butterfly", laying a new foundation for the PLD industry

editor's note: "as risk management and the ability to adapt to market dynamics become more and more critical to the survival of enterprises, for electronic system manufacturers, hardware programmability is already indispensable." Xilinx CEO Moshe gavrielov said in an interview with electronic engineering album. He stressed that under the current situation, programmable logic devices can organically combine market forces, economic factors and technological innovation, which also adds new chips to his previous judgments

when Ross Freeman, Bernie vonderschmitt and Jim Barnett jointly founded Xilinx in 1984, he may not have foreseen that in the past 25 years, the role of FPGA has developed from being only used to design prototype glue logic to being widely used in automotive, consumer electronics, industry, medical treatment, national defense/aerospace, wired/wireless communication and other fields, It has become a highly flexible solution that can replace the traditional asic/ass film blowing machine, which is widely used in various industries. Freeman himself was also honored in the 2009 American inventor Hall of fame for his invention of FPGA

in early 2008, the new CEO Moshe gavrielov made a drastic reform of the company's organizational structure, readjusted the relevant departments according to their functions, and formed a number of teams including product design, development, import, and operation. At the same time, in order to obtain greater profits, FPGA manufacturers are also changing from technology driven to market driven. This means that we must better understand customer needs

"Xilinx's organizational structure used to be multi business units. In fact, this is not bad, but it will only cause customers a very confused understanding, and also make us unable to accurately understand what customers need." Tang Liren, senior vice president of Xilinx worldwide, said to

programmable technology is imperative

"as risk management and the ability to adapt to the dynamic market situation become more and more critical to the survival of enterprises, hardware programmable ability has become essential for electronic system manufacturers." Gavrielov said in an interview with electronic engineering album, the larger the size is. In fact, when gavrielov said that "programmable technology is imperative", he actually meant that the current situation almost forced the transfer from traditional ASIC to programmable solution

Xilinx and its main competitor Altera have been claiming for decades that more and more convincing reasons have begun to let customers use FPGA to replace ASIC or ASSP. Gavrielov stressed that under the current situation, programmable logic devices can organically combine market forces, economic factors and technological innovation, which also adds new chips to his previous judgments

the dual crisis of the current economic and commercial situation has made enterprises more conservative in finance, but the market has never stopped chasing product differentiation. "Even new products with rich functions must show more advantages in terms of cost and power consumption, which makes designers look a little at a loss." Tang Liren said, "therefore, we believe that the traditional asic/assp can no longer meet the needs of system customers."

as a member of the board of directors of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), Tang Liren also focused on the emerging development trend of the semiconductor industry:

1. First tier semiconductor companies are gradually developing along the track from wafer factories - Simplified wafer factories - no wafer factories. Tang Liren pointed out, "From the perspective of Xilinx's 25 year development history, the wafer free model is effective. In the face of billions or even billions of dollars of investment by wafer factories, more and more semiconductor companies have begun to adopt this model, especially in China. Therefore, we will not change the wafer free business model. "

2. Second tier semiconductor companies are under pressure from profitability and business model. He revealed that 29 of the 115 companies surveyed by GSA are facing cash flow problems. Taking the 45nm process as an example, the cost of R & D, design and yield compliance is US $61million. For these costs, these companies need to find a market with a scale of US $300million before they can develop, and at least 32nm nodes need to find To a $500million market. However, the current market is driven by consumers and becomes segmented. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to find a high-volume large-scale market

3. As start-ups of third-line semiconductor manufacturers, the challenge they face is the disappearance of funds. Data from GSA shows that from 2000 to 2007, the first round financing amount of start-ups has decreased by 82%; In the third quarter of 2008, only two chip companies received about $12million in financing. For semiconductor companies, $12million is too "a drop in the bucket". Therefore, for system manufacturers, they are facing the shortage of asic/assp

"at present, there is a problem: no one has figured out how to turn graphene into a readily available product or technology. The markets of asic/assp are those with relatively large scale, such as, MP3, etc., but the number of these large-scale applications is becoming less and less." Tang Liren said to him, "The gap between asic/assp and traditional FPGA applications is continuing to expand: these markets have development potential, but ASIC manufacturers think there are risks and dare not enter. This is a new growth field for Xilinx, such as flat-panel TVs, monitoring devices, 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices, etc."

Xilinx launched the "target design platform"

chuck tralka, the company's senior global product planning director, later said that to meet the needs of The demand of "programmable technology is imperative", in addition to continuing to launch leading hardware products such as virtex-6 and spartan-6, it is more important to provide customers with a simpler, smarter and strategically more feasible target design platform

Chuck explained that the so-called "target design platform" does not only refer to the hardware development suite, but also includes the third-party IP kernel and software suite developed by Xilinx and its partners. He admitted that the content or elements contained in this concept are not new. "But 25 years ago, this industry only focused on selling chips. Now, the business model has been developed. In addition to chips, IP, services, reference design and development boards are also added. Many third-party suppliers also develop their own IP and design on the basic platform, and then sell them to customers."

it is reported that the whole development environment consists of four parts: 1 Basic platform. Including FPGA devices, basic development boards, design tools, general reference designs, and a wide range of basic IP; 2. Specific domain platforms. Software and sub cards specially used for embedded processing, DSP or logic/connection functions are added; 3. Specific market platforms. It includes interfaces, IP cores and software for specialized fields such as automobile, video and communication. 4. Customer design. The improvement of the design environment itself and the implementation of the "socketable IP" strategy enable these platforms to ensure the smooth implementation of the whole process from design concept to SOC implementation in practical applications

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