The Third Decade: The FPGA as SoC

CATEGORIES : All, Design Challenges, System Architecture/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

In 2003, amidst the recessionary hangover from the dot-com crash, Altera began its third decade. It was a year of endings: the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia, the last contact with the spacecraft Pioneer 10, the last VW Beetle from the assembly line. And it was a year of beginnings: the Iraq War, […]

FinFETs, Analog Circuits, and Your Next System Design

CATEGORIES : All, Design Challenges, System Architecture/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Everyone is talking about FinFETs—arguably the biggest change in transistors since commercialization of the MOSFET in the 1960s. And nearly everyone—except perhaps enthusiasts of fully-depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI)—accepts that beyond the 20 nm node, FinFETs are the future of SoCs. But what does that future hold for a system developer who will use these […]

Powering SoCs: Where Do the Regulators Go?

CATEGORIES : All, Design Challenges, System Architecture/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

Increasingly sophisticated SoCs, integrating many system components onto a single die, have in general simplified the system designer’s job. But these chips have made the power-delivery subsystem more complex. What used to be a straightforward task of routing Vcc from a supply connector to the ICs has become the design of an active network as […]

From Glue Logic to Subsystem: Altera’s Second Decade

CATEGORIES : All, System Architecture/AUTHOR : Ron Wilson

The year was 1994. The U.S. Space Shuttle fleet was in regular service. The world watched in fascination as comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up and crashed into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The Channel Tunnel realized a centuries-old dream, connecting England and France. Achieving the undreamt-of, the Provisional Republican Army ceased military hostilities in Northern Ireland. In the […]