Lattice lets loose with new mid-range FPGA family

Lattice Semiconductor, which primarily is known for its low-power FPGA platforms, has announced a new FPGA platform family called Lattice Avant, that is designed to extend the company’s power efficiency and other capabilities into mid-range FPGA applications.

The new family, including an initial device built on the platform called Avant E, follows up the Nexus product family that Lattice has been building its devices on. While the Nexus products were aimed at lower logic cell densities for devices, the Avant family aims higher, but still leverages the industry-specific and application specific software solution stacks that Lattice has been developing in recent years, according to Steve Douglass, senior vice president of R&D, Lattice Semiconductor. 

“With Nexus we the largest device that we released was 100,000 logic cell device,” he told Fierce Electronics. “With Avant, we can now go up to 500,000 logic cells” to support growing demands in applications like robotics and portable devices in smart factories that need edge processing capabilities.

He added that as Lattice introduces new devices on the Avant platform, logic cell densities of 200,000 and 300,000 also will be supported.

Compared to the Nexus line, Douglass said the Avant line will deliver five times the density, or capacity, 10 times more bandwidth, and 30 times higher performance than the previous architecture. 

Douglass claimed that though the Avant devices will take Lattice upriver to compete with the mid-range FPGA platforms of other companies, it keeps the Lattice’s reputation for power efficiency intact, coming in at 2.5 times lower power than “similar class competitive devices,” while bringing two times faster serial bandwidth in a footprint that is six times smaller.

“What we're always hearing from our customers is, yes, lower power, but higher performance, and be able to deliver that also in a small package,” said Esam Elashmawi, chief strategy officer and chief marketing officer at Lattice. “Board real estate is at a premium, and customers are always looking for how they can build more into a smaller space.” 

Patrick Moorhead, CEO and Chief Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said in a statement provided by Lattice that the new Lattice platform addresses the trend for increased demand for more intelligence at the edge that is being driven by increasing data generated by billions of connected sensors, devices, and systems supported by AI algorithms.

Meanwhile, the Lattice Nexus architecture is not being put out to pasture. Elashmawi said the company said it will “continue to innovate in and invest in our low density space,” even as new Avant-based devices arrive next year and in 2024.