Renesas launches low-cost, ultra-low-power FPGAs

November 18, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Renesas launches low-cost, ultra-low-power FPGAs
Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas has announced that it is entering the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) market with a new line of very low-cost, very low-power devices.

Designed to provide dramatic cost savings versus other alternatives, including non-FPGA designs, the ForgeFPGA Family will address the underserved market need for relatively small amounts of programmable logic that can be quickly and efficiently designed into cost-sensitive applications. By providing a high level of integration, they reduce overall board and system costs, and .

The devices' projected price in volume of well under US$ 0.50, says the company, opens up applications that previously couldn’t use FPGAs due to cost constraints, including high-volume consumer and IoT applications. The ForgeFPGA Family will serve applications that require less than 5,000 gates of logic, with initial device sizes of 1K and 2K Look Up Tables (LUTs).

Standby power of less than 20 microamps is projected for the first devices, about half the power of competing devices. Users will be able to download the development software at no cost and with no license fees. The software offers two development modes to accommodate both new and experienced FPGA developers: a “macrocell mode” that uses a schematic capture-based development flow, and an “HDL” mode that provides a familiar Verilog environment for FPGA veterans.

The ForgeFPGA Family development team is the same group that introduced the GreenPAK programmable mixed-signal devices at Silego Technology, which came into the Renesas portfolio as part of the recently completed Dialog Semiconductor acquisition. The new FPGAs will use the same business model and infrastructure as the GreenPAK line: free, easy-to-use software with no license fees, and available worldwide applications support.

“We are eager to extend our leadership in the small, low-cost, programmable market into FPGAs,” says Davin Lee, Vice President of the Mixed-Signal Division in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit. “We know from experience and from direct conversations that these devices will appeal to companies large and small in numerous markets around the world.”

Key features of the ForgeFPGA family include:

  • Very low power as low as 20 microamps standby
  • Very low

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