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Renesas Electronics launches ultra-low power, low-cost FPGA product family to meet the needs of low-density, high-volume applications

Renesas Electronics Group, a global semiconductor solutions provider, recently announced the launch of a new ultra-low-cost, ultra-low-power field programmable gate array (FPGA) product family. The ForgeFPGA™ product family will meet the market’s demand for relatively small amounts of programmable logic, so that designs can be quickly and effectively used in cost-sensitive applications. The launch of this product marks Renesas’ formal entry into the FPGA field.

Compared with other alternatives (including non-FPGA), ForgeFPGA will greatly save costs. With high integration, the product can reduce the cost of the entire Circuit board and system. Applications that cannot use FPGAs due to cost constraints, such as high-volume consumer and Internet of Things applications.

ForgeFPGA products will serve applications that require less than 5,000 logic gates, with initial device sizes of 1K and 2K look-up tables (LUT). The standby power of the first batch of products is expected to be less than 20μA, which is about half of the power consumption of competitors’ products. Users will be able to download the development software for free, without paying authorization fees. The software provides two development modes to meet the needs of new and old FPGA developers: the “macro-cell mode” based on schematic capture of the development process, and the “HDL” mode that is familiar with the Verilog environment for experienced FPGA designers.

The ForgeFPGA product family development team comes from Silego Technology, which was acquired by Dialog, which has launched the very successful GreenPAK™ programmable mixed-signal device. Renesas recently completed the acquisition of Dialog and included the product in the company’s product portfolio. The new FPGA will use the same business model and infrastructure as the GreenPAK series, that is, easy-to-use, free download and license-free software, and provide global application support. Practice has proved that this model is very successful, and the current shipment of GreenPAK has reached billions of pieces, and it is still growing.

Steve Leibson, principal analyst at TIRIAS ResearchSaid: “It is great to see traditional Semiconductor manufacturers like Renesas focusing on the long-neglected market and launching small and low-cost FPGAs that produce only microwatt-level power consumption in standby mode. Earlier this year, Renesas acquired Dialog acquired Siligo and determined to continue Siligo’s success with ultra-low-end GreenPAK series programmable mixed-signal products and ultra-convenient design tools. Currently, billions of embedded sensors and IoT devices on the market require only about 1,000 doors. A small amount of programmable logic. The low-end FPGA product line launched by Renesas this time will receive extensive attention from the above-mentioned equipment manufacturers.”

Davin Lee, Vice President, Mixed Signal Business Unit, Renesas Electronics Internet of Things and Infrastructure Business DivisionSaid: “We are eager to extend Renesas’ excellent performance in the small, low-cost, programmable market to the FPGA field. With years of experience and direct communication with customers, we believe that the new products launched this time will attract many markets around the world. The eyes of enterprises of different sizes in China.”

Key features of ForgeFPGA product family

● Ultra-low power consumption, only 20μA in standby

● Ultra-low batch unit price, well below US$0.50

● Free, downloadable software, and no license fee; including schematic capture and HDL mode

● Reliable mass delivery capability

Renesas plans to launch a number of “successful product portfolios”, which will include new ForgeFPGA products and supporting MCU, analog, power and clock products. The “Successful Product Portfolio” helps customers build easy-to-use architectures for different applications, simplify the design process, and significantly reduce design risks.

Supply information

ForgeFPGA engineering samples are now available, including beta design software and prototype development kits. Among them, the first ForgeFPGA product, the 1K LUT product, is expected to be put into mass production in the second quarter of 2022.