Intel to Manufacture 22nm FPGAs for Tabula
Intel has sold 22 nm manufacturing capacity to Tabula.
The chip design company will use Intel's 3D Trigate manufacturing technology for its 3PLD FPGAs that target switches, routers, and packet inspection appliances. Tabula said that the 22 nm process combined with its Spacetime architecture will deliver "programmable circuits that consume significantly less chip area than circuits implemented with traditional FPGA fabrics." Tabula has contracted TSMC to produce its 40 nm Abax FPGAs.
Tabula is the second company that uses Intel as a foundry provider. In October of 2010, Achronix announced that Intel would build its FPGAs on 22 nm and beyond. According to media reports, Tabula has raised about $214 million in capital so far. The most recent round closed in May of 2011 with a volume of $108 million and was based on the promise that Intel would be building the chips for the company. The company employs more than 100 people and has more than 120 patents.
Tabula claims that its Spacetime architecture solves bottleneck problems in FPGAs and offers "dramatically shorter interconnects than traditional FPGAs and the ability to clock the entire fabric – logic, DSP, memory, and interconnect -- at the same frequency." The technology adds time multiplexing as a "third dimension" to the core feature of the chip and therefore enables the company to reduce the number of components and, as a result, the cost of the FPGA as well.