IMS Research expects a very bright future for FPGA vendors. The core-based FPGA market is expected to gain over a billion dollars in annual revenues by 2014. This represents over two and a half times the 2009 annual revenues. Their research is published in IMS Research’ Comprehensive Processors Report, World 2010 Edition. IMS Research is a supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets.
Primary Reasons for Core-based FPGA Growth
- Improved process geometries down to as low as 28 nm or even 22nm by 2014
- Bus structures such as AMBA are being integrated into the FPGA array to accommodate hybridization of core-based strategies to instantiate one or more synthesized cores
- Many SoC solutions vendors and traditional processor vendors are entering the market with a wider variety of core-based FPGA solutions
IMS Research expects most of the FPGA growth will come at the expense of the core-based ASIC and ASSP market. However, the core-based application specific processor market will still grow to almost $47 billion by 2014.
In the past, FPGA devices were used as primarily for prototyping because their power and price did not compare favorably with application specific processors. But thanks to the latest manufacturing technology, FPGA performance level has become competitive over a wider range of solutions. With recent developments in core-compatible bus designs and core choices, that reputation is likely to change dramatically.
Between Altera, MicroSemi (formerly Actel), Cypress Semiconductor, Xilinx and other providers of core-based programmable logic solutions, a wide range of core-based FPGA solutions are available. As non-recurring expenses associated with the initial design of application specific processors continues to rise, the spaces where core-based FPGAs will be cost effective continues to expand. As application specific vendors continue to compete for the higher volume markets, the core-based FPGAs will become more attractive at moderate volumes.
More information: IMS Research