"FPGAs have transitioned from simple glue logic solutions to sophisticated devices performing complex, high-performance communications functions," said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst with The Linley Group. "Now used for traffic management, protocol bridging, and baseband processing, FPGAs lead the industry in process technology and can satisfy the computational and data rate needs of many emerging applications, including 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 100GbE systems. Our report provides a roadmap to the complex FPGA product lines of market leaders, while contrasting the use of FPGAs vs. off-the-shelf ASSPs and ASICs for enterprise equipment, broadband infrastructure, telecom switches, and wireless base stations."
While previous reports have included high-level FPGA coverage, this new report is the first from The Linley Group to focus entirely on FPGAs, reflecting the growing impact these devices are having on emerging communications applications.
The Linley Group forecasts FPGA revenue will reach $3.5 billion by 2013, outpacing the overall semiconductor market. According to the report, FPGAs are increasingly used in place of ASICs and ASSPs. Increased densities, performance and customization will continue to fuel this trend. The devices deliver greater flexibility than their ASIC and ASSP counterparts, and integrate application-specific intellectual property (IP) needed by a wide range of communications applications. FPGA market leaders, Xilinx and Altera, provide the broadest range of FPGAs for communication applications, and offer more IP blocks than their competitors. The report also covers innovative solutions from smaller suppliers such as Lattice, Achronix, and Cswitch.
Despite their popularity, FPGAs can also present design challenges that are detailed in the report. Use of an FPGA requires knowledge of ASIC design tool and processes, which are more complex than the processes required to use ASSPs and processors. The greater flexibility and performance benefits, however, offset these challenges for many applications. The report advises OEMs and silicon startups on how FPGAs can be used to create market-leading products.
"A Guide to FPGAs for Communications, First Edition" is currently available directly from The Linley Group and is priced at $2,995 for a single-user license. For further details, visit the web site at http://www.linleygroup.com/Reports/fpga_guide.html
About The Linley Group
The Linley Group celebrates 10 years as the industry's leading source for independent technology analysis of semiconductors for networking, communications, mobile, and wireless. The company provides strategic consulting services, more than a dozen in-depth analytical reports, and Linley Tech seminars focused on advanced technology topics. For insights on recent industry news subscribe to "Linley Wire" and "Linley on Mobile," the company's free newsletters.
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