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Intel & Altera to Build Next-Generation FPGAs on Intel's 14 nm Tri-Gate Technology

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments
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Products are targeted at ultra high-performance systems such as military, wireline communications and cloud networking.

Intel has announced that it has reached an agreement with PLD (Programmable logic device) manufacturer Altera to product FPGAs (Field-programmable gate array) on Intel's 14 nm tri-gate transistor technology. According to the announcement, these next generation products will enable breakthrough levels of performance and power efficiencies not otherwise possible and further the company's ability to deliver on the promise of silicon convergence by delivering a more flexible and economical alternative to traditional ASICs and ASSP.

Furthermore, Brian Krzanich, Intel's Chief Operating Officer stated that "We look forward to collaborating with Altera on manufacturing leading-edge FPGAs, leveraging Intel's leadership in process technology and Next-generation products from Altera require the highest performance and most power-efficient technology available, and Intel is well positioned to provide the most advanced offerings."

 

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  • 12 Hide
    ik242 , February 27, 2013 4:53 AM
    AMD is doing an amazing job - it CONTINUES to fight the empire. Just in case you have forgotten, there is nobody else around (there used to be so many companies making CPUs, they are all gone). the competition keeps pushing the envelope and computing power is cheaper and we get more of it. not just that, but AMD is the one and only company ever to dethrone Intel in terms of performance. no other company EVER did that - they all quit or sold out or don't even pretend to compete (IBM, Motorola, NexGen, Cyrix, Via, you name it). If AMD was to also cave in, who or what would stop Intel to charge whatever it wants? what would be reason to push the envelope and bring new and faster products? without AMD we would still be running single core at 233MHz and pay for it big bucks.
  • 11 Hide
    madjimms , February 27, 2013 6:38 AM
    probe30Nvidia, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Apple. Just to name a few other companys that make great CPU's


    Apple makes CPU's?.......... Oooohhh.... you mean the chips SAMSUNG produces for Apple.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    joytech22 , February 27, 2013 3:18 AM
    Oh bloody hell AMD.. Do something fast.
    AMD should pull an end-game action and pour 1B into R&D just to see what happens.

    If they create something epic and companies love it - GOOD! 1B well spent.

    I'd do that. That's probably why I'm not rich or a CEO. lol.
    I do have lots of nice things though..
  • 8 Hide
    InvalidError , February 27, 2013 3:56 AM
    AMD has already done 'something' when fabbing their own chips was not enough to keep their fabs busy and had a hard time finding external clients for their spare capacity: they spun their fabs off as Global Foundries. Investing in process research and finding clients for fabs is out of AMD's hands.

    Investing 1B in improving their CPU/GPU is not going to do much to help when AMD is stuck with Global Foundries being almost two process nodes and 10B$ worth of process/fab investments behind Intel.
  • 12 Hide
    ik242 , February 27, 2013 4:53 AM
    AMD is doing an amazing job - it CONTINUES to fight the empire. Just in case you have forgotten, there is nobody else around (there used to be so many companies making CPUs, they are all gone). the competition keeps pushing the envelope and computing power is cheaper and we get more of it. not just that, but AMD is the one and only company ever to dethrone Intel in terms of performance. no other company EVER did that - they all quit or sold out or don't even pretend to compete (IBM, Motorola, NexGen, Cyrix, Via, you name it). If AMD was to also cave in, who or what would stop Intel to charge whatever it wants? what would be reason to push the envelope and bring new and faster products? without AMD we would still be running single core at 233MHz and pay for it big bucks.
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 27, 2013 5:13 AM
    Nvidia, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Apple. Just to name a few other companys that make great CPU's
  • -3 Hide
    giorov , February 27, 2013 5:29 AM
    weeelll yeah I am very supportive of AMD. it seems to me like they are carving out a nice little niche with their APUs, hopefully with steamroller will do the FX brand some justice as well. But kudos for Intel for getting this far, 14nm wow, that is pretty tight! while AMD really slowed down from buying ATI it seems this has allowed each company (including n-vidia) to lead in a slighlty more specialized manner, though AMD and Nvidia are between a rock and a hardplace, intel being the rock, I agree to that much
  • 4 Hide
    Soda-88 , February 27, 2013 6:10 AM
    Why are first 5 comments about AMD when this article has absolutely nothing to do with it? This isn't even about consumer level hardware...
  • 11 Hide
    madjimms , February 27, 2013 6:38 AM
    probe30Nvidia, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Apple. Just to name a few other companys that make great CPU's


    Apple makes CPU's?.......... Oooohhh.... you mean the chips SAMSUNG produces for Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , February 27, 2013 7:37 AM
    joytech22Oh bloody hell AMD.. Do something fast.AMD should pull an end-game action and pour 1B into R&D just to see what happens.If they create something epic and companies love it - GOOD! 1B well spent.I'd do that. That's probably why I'm not rich or a CEO. lol.I do have lots of nice things though..


    Don't forget that AMD have the PS4 and possibly the new Xbox, that's possibly billions for them over the next 10 years (I don't know what it'll be, I'll assume AMD get $40 per console sold, say 150m sold by 2020 that's $6b for them, hopefully they'll still be around by that time).

    Soda-88Why are first 5 comments about AMD when this article has absolutely nothing to do with it? This isn't even about consumer level hardware...

    Because it's a fuckton of money for Intel.
  • 1 Hide
    saturnus , February 27, 2013 7:56 AM
    So when is this going to be on the market?

    Intel has yet to showcase a working 14nm logic tape-out (a working chip), although unofficial reports says that it does have it in-house already in August last year. Meanwhile, Samsung has showcased a fully functional ARM core on a 14nm tape-out in December last year. The question is why Intel, who is normally very quick to showcase their achievements still haven't showcased a working 14nm logic tape-out, while at the same time (at IDF last year) said that they were ready for 14nm manufacturing.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , February 27, 2013 8:03 AM
    Soda-88Why are first 5 comments about AMD when this article has absolutely nothing to do with it? This isn't even about consumer level hardware...

    That it "is not even about consumer hardware" is not the point either.

    It is about Intel having its first serious foundry client, something AMD tried but failed at before spinning off their foundry operations under Global.

    Altera getting on Intel's 22nm and 14nm process could hurt Xilinx, Cypress and other CPLD/FPGA designers pretty hard if Altera has an exclusivity deal for programmable logic.

    While this may not have a direct effect on consumer-level hardware, it will have a fairly direct effect on rapid prototyping and hardware-accelerated simulation rigs. It will also have a significant effect in telecoms and other places that use FPGAs for software-defined radios, network processing, video/signal processing and various other tasks. Reduced competition there due to Altera having a monopoly on Intel's process for FPGAs could eventually translate into higher service costs, higher development costs, etc. (they're the only ticket in town for a given logic density, throughput per watt or other metric enabled by Intel's more advanced process) much the same way AMD failing to keep up with Intel caused Intel to freeze price points.

    Domino effect. You may not feel it now but you may still regret it later.
  • 0 Hide
    knowom , February 27, 2013 8:17 AM
    madjimmsApple makes CPU's?.......... Oooohhh.... you mean the chips SAMSUNG produces for Apple.
    He meant the logo's they put on them it's trademarked you know so the iSHEEP can pretend they are special.
  • 0 Hide
    goodguy713 , February 27, 2013 8:18 AM
    saturnusSo when is this going to be on the market?Intel has yet to showcase a working 14nm logic tape-out (a working chip), although unofficial reports says that it does have it in-house already in August last year. Meanwhile, Samsung has showcased a fully functional ARM core on a 14nm tape-out in December last year. The question is why Intel, who is normally very quick to showcase their achievements still haven't showcased a working 14nm logic tape-out, while at the same time (at IDF last year) said that they were ready for 14nm manufacturing.


    I would guess it to be safe to say that its because of a lack of competition on AMD's part and a serious feather in their cap considering based off what your saying is true then they would already have working proto types a full year in advance and will be able to refine the product to match anything AMD throws at them. currently they still lack a CPU that matches the Upper end of Ivy bridge in terms of performance. Also take into consideration the fact that once 14 nm gets released they really have much more significant challenges as far as transistor density and shrinkage. not to mention cooling those processors as many of you guys know now they tend to run hot.
  • -2 Hide
    saturnus , February 27, 2013 8:53 AM
    goodguy713I would guess it to be safe to say that its because of a lack of competition on AMD's part and a serious feather in their cap considering based off what your saying is true then they would already have working proto types a full year in advance and will be able to refine the product to match anything AMD throws at them.


    Well. That's all very good and so on but the world has moved on. AMD is not really a competitor to Intel, ARM processors and the army of fabs producing them, however is. As said, 14nm working ARM processors have already been showcased by Samsung. Both TSMC and GF are in fact getting ready to showcase their own working 14nm ARM processor tape-outs in the coming months.

    The only viable reason I can see is that Intel has encountered problems, and are in fact not as far ahead of the pact as they would like us to believe.
  • 3 Hide
    NAG3LT , February 27, 2013 9:11 AM
    madjimmsApple makes CPU's?.......... Oooohhh.... you mean the chips SAMSUNG produces for Apple.


    They design their own ARM SoC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A6), Samsung only provides the foundry.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , February 27, 2013 10:10 AM
    Samsung makes chips for apple, apple sues samsung. (Genius meme here).
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , February 27, 2013 10:12 AM
    Holy. Crap. I guess everyone here was not in a modern ECET program and does not know who altera is?

    Why are we discussing AMD against a PLC maker? It's nice for PLC users and industrial clients. It has NOTHING to do with the CPU market. These are very different areas
  • 2 Hide
    Pinhedd , February 27, 2013 11:48 AM
    How the hell did an Altera vs Xilinx thread turn into an Intel vs AMD thread?
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , February 27, 2013 12:07 PM
    madjimmsApple makes CPU's?.......... Oooohhh.... you mean the chips SAMSUNG produces for Apple.

    The A6 was designed in-house, so yeah they don't manufacture it, but they have started designing their own. So if you're going to make that argument against Apple, i could also say that ARM doesn't make CPUs either (they don't, just design) and so bla bla bla.

    @Saturnus:
    Broadwell isn't in mass production (they don't have their fabs up yet), but considering that Micron was showing off DDR4 RAM at CES, running on a black box they weren't talking about, I'm sure Broadwell is somewhere out there. Though that could be IB-E as well, since that's rumored to support DDR4 too.

    Anyway, AMD is still very much competing with Intel, probably not with the i7s but otherwise, it still is. The FX-8350 is a solid competitor to the i5s and their APUs are going to turn things around quick, Bay Trail is going to receive solid competition from Kabini/Tamesh.

    You'll have to link to the functional 14nm ARM chip story, because the last i remember hearing about the 14nm Samsung chip was a tape-out somewhere in the middle of last year. That means it's still at least 2 years from production. Intel have no reason to demo Broadwell before Haswell is out, that's common sense. I love the fact that everyone automatically assumes that Intel's having "problems" at the drop of the hat. They've been building 14nm fabs since LAST YEAR. I'm sure they've got their stuff together. They were working on Tri-gate transistors back in the 1990's.

    ARM have sort of hit the wall when it comes to efficiency anyway with the A15s, a quad-core A15 will have Haswell proper for competition, Ivy Bridge quad cores (mobile) already idle at 2w, and we know about the Y-series too.

    I'm more interested in what Qualcomm manages to do (from the ARM side), they seem to be the actual leaders in efficiency currently, followed closely by Apple's A6.

    Another point you'll have to consider is the foundry, currently the only company that can sustain huge volumes of cutting edge processes is Intel, though i believe Samsung is indeed hot on their heels. TSMC has too much work.
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , February 27, 2013 12:36 PM
    somehow, any article these days ends up with comments about apple. I'm retiring.
  • 0 Hide
    rebel1280 , February 27, 2013 3:53 PM
    but but but...when are we going to move off of silicon?! Just make them out of nano carbon (man made diamonds anyone). Still using silicon after reading forums on toms from 2003 about it being available then makes me cry T_T
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