MPCF-II technology could help keep the costs down.
By Jay Johnson, Atmel
Embedded.com (09/09/09, 10:33:00 AM EDT)
Innovation is being stifled by the lack of options for chip design implementation. Innovation entails trying the unknown. It's an evolutionary process in which something new is tested, then refined as market preferences become clear.
Innovative products are not purchased by mass markets. They're purchased by early adopters, which represent a tiny fraction of the total population. It doesn't make sense to commit millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of ICs to an evolving product. In the current environment, it's impossible to fund such a risky enterprise.
The risk of a large up front financial investment is completely overcome by FPGAs, but the tradeoff is performance degradation, power consumption, and high unit costs. FPGAs are cheap if you buy 100,000 of them, but in quantities of 10,000 units, a 200,000-gate FPGA can cost $30, in addition to about $3 for the microcontroller. That $33 price tag contributes about $132 to the price of the end product. High prices threaten product adoption.
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