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Date: 29-10-13

FPGA nanometer cutting edge: is 14nm sharper?

Altera has announced its new SOC programmable chip Stratix 10 to incorporate quad core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 processor. Altera said these devices are going to be manufactured using Intel's 14 nm finFET process.

Altera has not still not disclosed when the sample chips of 14 nm SOC FPGA chips are going to be available. However Altera is suggesting its customers to get ready for a 64-bit ARM cortex A53 based programmable silicon platform, a performance far above the 32 bit SoC FPGA platform.

While Altera is getting these chips fabricated at Intel foundry, its bigger competitor, Xilinx has selected 16 nm finFET process from TSMC. Xilinx's executive had earlier told this writer, it had an option to go for Intel fab, but decided to get its chips fabricated using TSMC foundry services.

This industry-beneficial competition between Xilinx and Altera resulting into faster advancement of computing technologies, which are still a lot in need.

Can system designers and other FPGA users can look forward for SOC FPGA from Xilinx anything equal or better than Altera's offerings?

In fact it will be a far more beneficial for the electronics industry, if other FPGA companies Achronix, Lattice and Tabula also offer even more competitive products.

Tabula has some special technologies, hope it can deliver a product rich of innovation. Lets wish good luck to all these players and also wish for more programmable silicon startups.

In the previous version of this article 'ARM Cortex A53' was misspelled as 'ARM Cortex A57'. The error is regretted.

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