New Lattice CertusPro-NX general purpose FPGAs deliver advanced system bandwidth & memory capabilities to edge applications

23 June 2021

Lattice CertusProNX_chip
Lattice CertusProNX_chip

Highest logic density Lattice Nexus-based FPGA product family features best-in-class power efficiency, performance & small form factor. Meanwhile, the latest version of its Lattice Radiant 3.0 design software further enhances ease-of-use to accelerate FPGA designs.

Low power, programmable logic specialist, Lattice Semiconductor has launched its Lattice CertusPro™-NX general purpose FPGA family. As the fourth device family based on the Lattice Nexus™ platform to be launched in just 18 months, CertusPro-NX continues Lattice’s commitment to FPGA innovation with leadership power efficiency, the highest bandwidth in the smallest form factor in comparison to similar devices, and as the only FPGAs in their class with support for LPDDR4 external memory. With advanced performance capabilities and the highest logic density currently available on a Nexus-based device, CertusPro-NX FPGAs are designed to accelerate application development for the communications, compute, industrial, automotive and consumer markets.

Many edge devices require low power consumption for better thermal management, high system bandwidth for fast chip-to-chip communication, components with small form factors for compact device designs, robust memory resources to support data processing and high reliability for mission-critical applications,” said Linley Gwennap, Principal Analyst at The Linley Group. “Lattice’s CertusPro-NX FPGAs address all of these factors; in particular, they far exceed the competition in mean time between failures (MTBF) and offer the lowest power in their class.

At Lattice, we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and design products based on the needs of our customers, and Lattice CertusPro-NX FPGAs are the latest example of how we’re delivering on this commitment,” said Gordon Hands, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Lattice Semiconductor. “The performance and differentiated features we’ve designed into CertusPro-NX deliver capabilities that were previously unavailable in low power FPGAs, to support the next generation of edge applications that OEMs are eager to provide to customers.

CertusPro-NX FPGAs are designed to enable customer innovation in a wide range of applications, including data co-processing in intelligent systems, high-bandwidth signal bridging in 5G communications infrastructure and sensor interface bridging in ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) systems.

Key features of the Lattice CertusPro-NX FPGA family include:

•    Class-leading power efficiency – By leveraging Lattice’s innovations in FPGA fabric architecture and a low power FD-SOI manufacturing process, CertusPro-NX devices deliver exceptional performance, while consuming up to four times less power than competing FPGAs of a similar class.

•    Best-in-class system bandwidth – With support for up to eight programmable SERDES lanes capable of speeds up to 10.3 Gbps, CertusPro-NX FPGAs deliver the highest system bandwidth in their class to enable popular communication and display interfaces like 10 Gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express, SLVS-EC, CoaXPress and DisplayPort.

•    Optimised edge processing – To meet demand for robust data co-processing in edge AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) applications, CertusPro-NX FPGAs feature up to 65% more available on-chip memory than other similar FPGAs. CertusPro-NX devices are the only low power FPGAs currently supporting the LPDDR4 DRAM memory standard, which is preferred due to its projected long-term availability.

•    High logic density - With support for up to 100k logic cells, CertusPro-NX FPGAs currently offer the highest logic density of any Nexus-based FPGA.

•    Industry-leading reliability – Mission-critical automotive, industrial and communications applications must deliver high availability to enable predictable performance and keep users safe. Thanks to innovations in the Lattice Nexus platform, CertusPro-NX devices are up to 100 times more resistant to soft errors.

•    Smallest-in-class form factor – With a design footprint of 81 mm2, CertusPro-NX FPGAs are up to 6.5 times smaller than competing devices. Small form factor is a key design consideration for developers of industrial cameras or the SFP (small form-factor pluggable) modules used in communication systems.

Lattice has already shipped CertusPro-NX samples to select customers. CertusPro-NX is compatible with the latest version of the Lattice Radiant® design software, also announced today.

Lattice Radiant 3.0 design software further enhances ease-of-use to accelerate FPGA designs

This latest version of its popular software design tool for use with low power Lattice FPGAs, Lattice Radiant® 3.0, supports higher density devices, like the new Lattice CertusPro™-NX family – the latest family based on the Lattice Nexus™ platform – and offers new features that make it faster and easier than ever to develop Lattice FPGA-based designs.

Lattice Radiant
Lattice Radiant

When system developers evaluate hardware platforms, the actual hardware is only a part of their selection criteria. They also evaluate the design software used to configure the hardware for its ease-of-use and supported features, as those characteristics can have a significant impact on overall system development time and cost.

As a leading provider of FPGA-based SoM (system-on-module) solutions for the industrial and automotive markets, we have decades of experience working with various software tools used in hardware development,” said Antti Lukats, CTO, Trenz Electronic GmbH. “The Lattice Radiant tool has a modern user interface that is highly intuitive and very easy to use, which reduces design complexity and helps us get products to market faster.

Lattice Radiant 3.0 design software gives developers an easy-to-follow user experience; the tool leads them through the steps of the development flow, including design creation, importing IP, implementation, bitstream generation, downloading the bitstream onto an FPGA and debugging,” said Roger Do, Senior Product Line Manager, Software at Lattice Semiconductor. “Developers with little to no experience working with FPGAs can quickly leverage the automated features of Lattice Radiant. For experienced FPGA developers, Lattice Radiant 3.0 allows for more granular control over FPGA settings, if specific optimisations are required.

New feature upgrades available in Radiant 3.0 include:

•    The SERDES analysis tools in Radiant 3.0 have been enhanced to accommodate the higher SERDES bandwidths supported by CertusPro-NX devices.

•    Improved signal traceability throughout the design flow via the graphical user interface (GUI) to help designers trace a signal between the HDL source to the RTL view, and to the technology view and back again.

•    Radiant allows the user to choose between the Lattice Synthesis Engine (LSE) and the Synplify Pro® synthesis engine. In Radiant 3.0, timing constraints and timing analysis are unified across both synthesis engines.

•    In Radiant 3.0, timing analysis has been separated from other operations so it can run independently. This dramatically speeds the iterative design process by helping designers evaluate “what-if” scenarios and re-run timing analysis without having to re-run mapping and place-and-route.

•    Radiant 3.0 averages a 15% reduction in runtime and a 7% increase in design performance in comparison to the previous release.

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