Microsemi and Future Electronics announce availability of the Avalanche board featuring a Microsemi PolarFire non-volatile field programmable gate array (FPGA). As the lowest cost entry development board available today for designing with Microsemi's lowest power, cost-optimized mid-range PolarFire FPGAs, Future's Avalanche board lowers the barrier to entry for PolarFire FPGAs and helps expand Microsemi's market opportunities for the device.
The Avalanche development board includes a RISC-V-based soft central processing unit (CPU) pre-programmed to the kit, offering a RISC-V-based board for low cost broad market applications utilizing RISC-V open instruction set architectures (ISAs) at mid-range densities. This supports the ongoing expansion of Microsemi's recently announced Mi-V™ ecosystem, which brings together industry leaders involved in the development of RISC-V to leverage their capabilities and streamline RISC-V designs for customers.
Future Electronics' Avalanche development board also features serial flash memory, double data rate type three (DDR3) DRAM and a Microsemi VSC8531 triple speed PHY powered by Microsemi's LX7167 2.4A hysteretic step-down regulator, making the platform ideal for developing several applications within the industrial market, including industrial internet of things (IoT), secured wired communications, Gb Ethernet bridging and imaging. It also offers industry-standard connectors Arduino Shield, mikroBUS and a Peripheral Module (Pmod) interface. These three expansion headers allow for the use of additional boards to implement an expanded set of applications including infrared, thermal imaging, industrial cameras, touch screen and other wireless interfaces.
The increasing cost of manufacturing applications with specific input/outputs (I/Os) and interfaces means producing application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and processors optimized for every device scenario is becoming unsustainable. This is especially true as both IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) drive interconnect and networking complexity. In many markets, especially wired communications, industrial and automotive, FPGAs and other configurable logic solutions are increasingly relied on to fill the gap—solving throughput, security and interface challenges, while their flexibility drives down overall cost associated with supporting product line diversity. Because of this, Tom Hackenberg, embedded processors principal analyst at IHS Markit, predicts strong renewed FPGA growth in these markets with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) ranging from just under 6 percent to over 10 percent from 2016 to 2021.
Microsemi's PolarFire FPGA devices provide cost-effective bandwidth processing capabilities with the lowest power footprint. They feature 12.7 Gbps transceivers and offer up to 50 percent lower power than competing mid-range FPGAs, and include hardened PCIe controller cores with both endpoints and root port modes available, as well as low power transceivers. The company's PolarFire Evaluation Kit is a comprehensive alternative platform for evaluating its PolarFire FPGAs which includes a PCIe edge connector with four lanes and a demonstration design. The kit features a high-pin-count (HPC) FPGA mezzanine card (FMC), a single full-duplex lane of surface mount assemblies (SMAs), PCIe x4 fingers, dual Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 and a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) module.
Avalanche Seminar Series
Future Electronics will be hosting a series of seminars throughout the U.S. beginning in January and running for several months to introduce the Avalanche development platform to the design community. Attendees of the workshops will explore the Microsemi Libero™ system-on-chip (SoC) PolarFire version 2.0 tool flow, explore its debug capabilities and sample a few advanced features. For more information, visit https://futureelec.wufoo.com/forms/microsemi-avalanche-seminar-series.
The Avalanche board for PolarFire, part number AVMPF300TS-01, is available now from Future Electronics. Also visit Microsemi for even more thrilling details.