“Application of Low Power, High Density, Gigahertz Speed Commercial FPGA Technology to High Radiation Applications using RADHARD-by-Process Techniques”

Rajit Manohar1, Clinton W. Kelly, IV1, John Lofton Holt1, Chris Liu1, Leonard Rockett2, Dinu Patel2, Steven Danziger2

1Achronix Semiconductor Corporation
2BAE SYSTEMS

Abstract

Demand for high performance Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) with performance defined in terms of speed, power, and density are is increasing in both the commercial and military markets. Massive NRE costs for custom Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) combined with the high unit costs of low-to-mid-volume production of ASICs make FPGA an economical and high performance alternative for a wide range of applications.

Since 2004, Achronix Semiconductor Corporation has fabricated two commercial prototype devices using standard CMOS processes. The first prototype, built in an 180nm process demonstrated system throughout of nearly 700 MHz while the 90nm prototype demonstrated system performance of over 1 GHz. The unique Achronix fabric architecture also allows for unprecedented scaling of the density of these prototypes while providing the ability to significantly reduce active power. BAE systems, in partnership with the DOD community, has implemented radiation hardened 150nm bulk CMOS process technology in a facility located in Manassas, VA. Using this process technology, the Achronix architecture is currently being adapted into a RADHARD-by-process FPGA in cooperation with BAE Systems.

This paper will describe the electrical and performance characteristics of the Achronix commercial prototypes using commercially-available synthesis tools and opencores designs and the expected performance of the RADHARD-by-process version of the FPGA. The paper will then describe the unique speed, power, and density advantages of the Achronix FPGA over existing RADHARD and RAD tolerant architectures offered by other FPGA manufacturers.

 

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