Lattice touts new FPGAs, Nvidia team-up at first developer event

Lattice Semiconductor, an FPGA company that often profiles as a low-power alternative to other options, has been making a strong bid over the last few years to grow its ecosystem–and its developer community in particular–to raise its profile. That effort led this week to the company’s first-ever developer conference and a batch of new announcements designed to get more companies in multiple industries to start looking toward Lattice for their FPGA needs.

Among those announcements, Lattice unveiled new mid-range FPGA device families from its Avant product line, including the Lattice Avant-G and Avant-X. The Avant-G devices aim to be general purpose by offering flexible interface bridging to support more system interfaces and dedicated LPDDR4 memory interfaces at 2,400 Mbps to enable a wider range of applications like sensor fusion and processing.

Meanwhile, the Lattice Avant-X leverages advanced high-bandwidth connectivity and security to support signal aggregation and high throughput for demanding applications like datapath networking. Lattice also said its Propel and Radiant software and Glance edge AI software will support Avant-G and Avant-X

Lattice also is announcing updates to its FPGA software stacks, including its sensAI solution stack, its mVision embedded vision stack, the Lattice Sentry security stack, and Lattice Automate stack for factory automation applications. 

The initial Lattice Developers Conference comes after the company’s ecosystem has experienced more than five-times growth over the last five years, according to Jay Aggrawal, director of silicon product marketing at Lattice. This has happened on the back of a worldwide FPGA market that has seen demand for about 5 billion units over the last five years and could reach 10 billion FPGAs over the next 10 years, Aggrawal said. But Lattice’s success in that broader market also has been due to its efforts to come up with industry-specific and use case-specific tools and software to help guide developers’ application and product activity 

“We believe there are over 50,000 developers worldwide that are using FPGAs today and in terms of the number of design starts, we are up to 100,000 design starts a year using FPGAs,” he said. “So we've seen a huge surge in the use of silicon programmable logic in general, and that is really being driven by what programmable logic basically provides–speed in terms of time to market and agility because of the reprogrammability of FPGAs.”

This week’s event is a showcase for demonstrations of how developers are using those FPGAs in sectors like automotive and robotics, and it also is a showcase for the partner portion of the Lattice ecosystem. Featured speakers include executives from Meta, Nvidia, and BMW Group, among others.

With Nvidia present at the event, Lattice also announced a new collaboration effort with the semiconductor giant on a sensor-bridging solution. It integrates Lattice FPGAs with Nvidia’s Jetson Orin and IGX Orin platforms into a new open-source reference board that will improve the efficiency of connecting a variety of sensors in edge AI applications, Aggrawal said.

The Lattice FPGA-based reference board is available today for early-access customers, and the company plans to make the board and application examples more broadly available in the first half of 2024.