By Andy Jaros, Flex Logix
Embedded FPGA (eFPGA) is the next big market for semiconductor IP. It can be used on almost every kind of digital chip and has a significant software value add as well—much like the market for embedded processors. When it comes to chip design, eFPGA provides competitive advantages that can add up to millions of dollars in savings and flexibility that wasn’t possible until now. Because eFPGA enables designers to make changes after RTL is frozen, chip designers have the flexibility to make changes at any point in the chip’s life span, even in the customers’ systems. This eliminates many expensive chip spins and enables chip designers to start addressing many customers and applications with the same chips. It also extends the life of chips and systems because designers are now able to update their chips as protocols and standards change.
According to Gartner, the market share of semiconductors with eFPGA is expected to approach $10 billion in 2023 with greater than 50% compounded annual growth. However, like any high growth market, achieving such rapid market adoption is not just about having amazingly innovative technology. It also needs to be very easy to implement or integrate into existing projects and design teams. That’s where eFPGA shines. In fact, citing one of our recent customer tape-outs, the whole process took only two and a half months from IP delivery on a FinFET process—and the silicon worked the first time!
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