SiliconBlue iCE FPGA Family

SiliconBlue[tm] introduced iCE family of FPGAs, which is a new class of single-chip, ultra low-power FPGA devices. Manufactured on TSMC’s 65nm LP (low-power) standard CMOS process, the new single-chip iCE FPGAs feature proprietary NVCM (Non-Volatile Configuration Memory) technology, eliminating external flash PROM costs while making it easy-to-use. The first member of the iCE65 family, the iCE65L04, is sampling now with prices starting at $2.00 in high volume. Additional devices in the iCE65 family will be available by the end of the year.

SiliconBlue’s first family of FPGAs, the iCE65, is comprised of four members that provide ultra-low power in small packages. Configuration is reprogrammable from many sources including secure, on-chip, embedded, NVCM, or external sources such as commodity SPI serial flash PROM or download from processor SPI interface. Operating current as low as 25 micro amp and lowest dynamic current, maximize battery life. Logic capacity ranges from 2k to 16k logic cells with I/O count from 128 to 384. BGA packages range from 3×4 mm to 12x12mm. The iCE family of FPGA devices is offered in both volatile and non-volatile versions.

SiliconBlue is the first company to combine low-power, Non-Volatile Configuration Memory (NVCM) and standard SRAM technologies at the 65nm LP process node. Fabricated at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the process is scalable to 40nm and beyond. SiliconBlue’s FPGAs carry their own non-volatile configuration memory on-chip for storing configuration data; therefore there is no need for the external flash PROM employed by traditional FPGA solutions. This saves part count, space, cost and removes the threat of bitstream snooping, resulting in secure designs.

Compared to existing non-volatile FPGAs, which employ embedded flash technology on two generations old 0.18µ / 0.13µ processes, the iCE FPGAs on 65LP process offer unprecedented ASIC-like logic capacity and deliver the industry’s lowest logic cost.

The 65nm LP process, coupled with SiliconBlue’s proprietary low-power design delivers more usable logic per unit of cost, lower standby power and lower active power than competing programmable logic products. SiliconBlue uses the same definitions for power modes as handset designers: Operating (active-fast, ~MHz) and Standby (active-slow, ~kHz). SiliconBlue’s FPGAs remain operating, consuming less standby power than other products which require complex power down sleep modes. Active power remains low through a combination of 65LP process, proprietary chip design and operating the logic core as low as 1.0 volt.

SiliconBlue’s iCEcube[tm] VHDL and Verilog-based development software is easy-to-use and offers a familiar interface to guide developers from concept to bitstream. Synthesis and placement are provided by Magma Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq:LAVA), while routing and bitgen were developed by SiliconBlue. The development software increases productivity, shortens design cycles and achieves performance and power requirements quickly and efficiently. The tools include a power estimator spreadsheet for estimating total power of a design.

The iCEman65 evaluation kit provides a complete platform for low-power testing and application development. The board includes an iCE65L04 ultra-low power FPGA with over 3,500 logic cells, 80Kbits of RAM, and 176 programmable I/O pins. Designers can quickly and easily develop applications using the USB-based programming solution integrated on board. The kit also includes extensive I/O expandability, supporting four different I/O banks, and a full line of affordable, third-party accessories. Test points provide easy access to all iCE65 voltage rails for easy power measurements.

More info: SiliconBlue iCE Family