Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Intel Atom, now with an Altera FPGA!

/. points to this article which says that Intel is putting together an Atom and an FPGA into a single package and selling it for somewhere in the $61-100 range in lots of 1000. This is Intel competing with ARM for the embedded space. We all saw the tighter integration of x86 and FPGA coming 5 years ago when hard PowerPC started finding their way into Xilinx V2 Pros. Achronix is already using Intel to fab their components. In a year or two, perhaps we'll start to see x86 and FPGA on a single die by Intel and then a few more years and we won't need the x86 anymore.

This is just starting to heat up.

I looked at the FPGA they put on board, the Arria II GX FPGA.

25,300 ALMs
63,250 equivalent logic elements
50,600 Registers
495 M9K memory Blocks
791 Kb MLAB Memory
4,455 Kb Embedded memory
312 18x18 multipliers.

I don't remember Alteras logic modules anymore (some sort of big 8 input logic thing), but this chip is like 1/20 of the size of big FPGAs on the market today, though it has an impressive supply of multipliers. Clearly going to be a champ for custom video codecs since it'll be able to do tens of billion of multiplies per second when you need it to.

Hopefully this strategy works and then Intel will experiment with Xeon + Achronix Speedster on a single die :)

PS: My little girl is walking:

Little Red also walks on the iPad too, but so does the Big Bad Wolf! (buy our letter tracing iPad game for kids!)


Anonymous said...

+1 for Xeon + Achronix Speedster

Alex said...

I'm starting to work on my master project and I'd like to research reconfigurable computing. Originally I wanted to write API for communicating with my Spartan 3E board via Ethernet from C/C++ program (and, of course, software for automated placing verilog/vhdl module into FPGA and making it avaliable for host-side software). The problem is has been done before, so no novelty here. So, I came across your blog and I'd like to ask you for a tip on what could I possibly research in the area of RC, provided I don't even have large modern FPGAs.
Thanks in advance. Any input will be greatly appreciated.