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Santa Clara, CA, United States

Achronix Semiconductor | Date: 2015-02-23

Circuits comprising an asynchronous programmable interconnect with fan out support that include a multi-port switch and a first and second buffer-switch circuit, and methods of forming such circuits, are provided. Additional circuits and methods are disclosed.

In accordance with the present invention there are provided herein asynchronous reconfigurable logic fabrics for integrated circuits and methods for designing asynchronous circuits to be implemented in the asynchronous reconfigurable logic fabrics.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2006

Large scale Wireless ad hoc networks are growing in use in both military and commercial environments. In the military environment, the Future Combat Systems (FCS) initiative will rely upon the Tactical Mobile Ad Hoc Communications Network (TMACN) for all communications between warfighters, manned and unmanned military equipment, and sensors. Simulation and performance estimation of the TMACN is of utmost importance to the design and eventual deployment of this mission-critical solution. The proposed innovation is a wireless MANET simulator consisting of a semiconductor-based highly-parallel multiprocessor asynchronous Network-on-a-Chip (NoC) and an associated software architecture to enable faster-than-realtime (FTR) simulation of ad hoc networks with many thousands of nodes. By leveraging an existing NoC prototype, built in 2005 by the PI and Cornell University in a 0.18ìm CMOS process, and the existing software environment, we will develop an architecture design for a scalable hardware architecture and an associated software environment to simulate large TMACNs. We will then perform a detailed scalability analysis and trade-off analysis to assist in the development of a software design and low cost highly parallel multiprocessor-based single-chip hardware platform for a 90nm prototype in Phase II that will support several hundred to several thousand node TMACNs.

Intel is opening up its manufacturing facilities to third parties, as it takes the further tentative steps toward building a chip-to-order foundry business. The microprocessor giant announced last year that it would build FPGAs for Achronix Semiconductor, and on Tuesday a second FPGA designer, Tabula, said that it would have its chips built by Intel. In its announcement, Tabula emphasized that it would be using Intel's cutting-edge 22nm process with 3D trigate transistors. Intel's manufacturing capabilities are world-leading, with none of the established microprocessor foundries—including TSMC, UMC, and AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries—able to match the company's process. Compared to the 28 and 32nm processes offered by the competition, Intel's 22nm process should offer higher speeds with lower power usage, at lower cost. The company will start shipping its first 22nm x86 processors, codenamed Ivy Bridge, in the coming months. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy says that the company has had other foundry customers in addition to the two that have gone public. The foundry business is a double-edge sword for Intel. On the one hand, having additional customers gives the chip-maker the ability to keep the factories churning out processors even if demand for new PC chips is low. This makes it easier to recoup its substantial manufacturing investments. On the other hand, Intel's process advantage is a key part of its competitive advantage: it can build complex chips on a process that's more refined and more advanced than anyone else in the industry. With the company unlikely to want to squander that advantage, it may find its customer base limited.

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Intel has announced that it will be manufacturing system-on-chip (SoC) products for Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, becoming the company's sixth customer. Other names include Altera, Achronix Semiconductor, Tabula, Netromome and Microsemi. None of them are household names but it's likely that Intel deliberately wants to keep any direct competitors to its product lines at bay. Panasonic will use Intel's 14nm Tri-gate manufacturing process to churn out its own SoCs for its consumer electronics products. These are likely to be ARM-based and the partnership will help Intel keep its manufacturing facilities running at capacity as demand for traditional products such as x86 processors soften. Intel is one of the few chipmakers that design and owns its own manufacturing plants. Long-standing rival AMD got rid of its expensive manufacturing capabilities back in 2009, spinning it out as GlobalFoundries. Intel launched its foundry business back in 2010 and offers some of the most advanced manufacturing manufacturing capabilities in the world of semiconductors with rivals still having to mass produce 14nm products.

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