Embedded FPGA enables reconfigurable hardware acceleration of MCUs, SoCs and programmable I/O
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- October 24, 2017 – Highlighting a major advancement in chip design, Flex Logix Technologies, Inc., today announced it is demonstrating the initial version of its flexible microcontroller design concept with embedded FPGA at this week’s Arm TechCon in its booth #201. This new design integrates embedded FPGA on MCU processor and peripheral buses, enabling unprecedented improvements in performance, cost and time to market for next generation chips.
“This announcement is a major milestone in the industry as it shows designers a complete implementation of embedded FPGA and provides a “breadboard” for MCU and SoC architects to experiment with the architecture to develop their own products,” said Geoff Tate, CEO of Flex Logix. “A flexible microcontroller or SoC has a block of embedded FPGA, with appropriate RAM resources, on the processor bus and can be configured, and reconfigured, by the customer to accelerate the workload(s) that matter in their applications. The embedded FPGA also can implement programmable I/O either directly or on the peripheral bus, enabling customers to implement the flavor of serial I/O they require and/or to do processing of I/O to offload the host processor.”
Until now, microcontrollers and SoCs have done all processing in the MPU or sometimes have a hardwired accelerator on the processor bus for the highest-workload task, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES.) If various customers have distinct workloads and thereby need different accelerators, different hardwired accelerator versions are required to be designed and manufactured. This results in substantial cost in masks, design time and qualification time, as well as adding significant lead time to perform all the tasks. A flexible microcontroller with embedded FPGA saves mask costs, speeds time to market and enables the customer to deploy their own accelerators.
Flex Logix is demonstrating at Arm TechCon a flexible microcontroller concept design based on the Arm Cortex- M0, and using peripherals from Silvaco combined with a reconfigurable accelerator and reconfigurable I/O. Flex Logix will show several different applications. The reference design is implemented on Flex Logix’s TSMC16FFC validation chip, which implements an EFLXÒ200K array and substantial RAM.
“Silvaco is proud to provide IP cores for the EFLX200K array for the flexible microcontroller demonstration platform,” said Jim Bruister, Director, Digital Systems of Silvaco. “Our proven AMBA subsystems and peripherals are an excellent match for the EFLX array family and we look forward to working with Flex Logix’s customers to provide reconfigurable solutions.”
Evaluation boards with the EFLX200K validation chip will be available later this quarter for customers for evaluating both the flexible microcontroller and the EFLX200K validation chip to try out their own RTL designs in hardware for other applications such as networking, artificial intelligence, signal processing, and more.
About Flex Logix
Flex Logix, founded in March 2014, provides solutions for reconfigurable RTL in chip and system designs using embedded FPGA IP cores and software. The company's technology platform delivers significant customer benefits by dramatically reducing design and manufacturing risks, accelerating technology roadmaps, and bringing greater flexibility to customers’ hardware. Flex Logix has secured approximately $13 million of venture backed capital, is headquartered in Mountain View, California and has sales rep offices in China, Europe, Israel, Japan, Taiwan and Texas. More information can be obtained at http://www.flex-logix.com