Altera’s process technology selection is a critical component of the company’s tailored approach. The process technology Altera selects defines the capabilities of each new product family and allows Altera to optimize its devices for specific application requirements. Due to the diverse range of applications that FPGAs serve, it is unrealistic to expect that a portfolio based on a single process technology is capable of efficiently meeting the low-power, low-cost requirements of today’s industrial automation systems, while at the same time fulfilling the demanding performance requirements of high-end networking equipment.
Extending Altera’s Tailored Approach to Process Technology Selection
Within its next-generation product portfolio, Altera significantly expands its tailored approach by combining multiple process technologies/nodes from multiple foundries. Mixing and matching process technologies in its next-generation portfolio allows Altera to create the most differentiated products in the industry and enables customers to achieve a measureable advantage in their end application.
Stratix® 10 FPGAs and SoCs leverage Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate transistor technology (commonly referred to as FinFET). These devices serve the high-performance end of Altera’s next-generation product portfolio targeted at applications in wireline networking, cloud computing, radar signal processing, software-defined data center and other high-bandwidth applications. The combination of the 14 nm Tri-Gate process and a new HyperFlexTM high-performance architecture enable Stratix 10 devices to operate at 2X higher core performance compared to current high-end FPGAs.
Arria® 10 FPGAs and SoCs leverage TSMC’s 20 nm system-on-a-chip (20SoC) process to enable the development of high-performance applications. Arria 10 devices deliver the highest performance at 20 nm offering a one speed-grade performance advantage over competing devices. Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs are up to 40 percent lower power than previous generation FPGAs and SoCs and feature the industry’s only hard floating-point digital signal processing (DSP) blocks with speeds up to 1.5 TeraFLOPs. Arria 10 SoCs are also the industry’s only 20 nm FPGA that integrates a hardened ARM® processor system.
MAX® 10 FPGAs are based on 55 nm embedded flash process technology from TSMC. MAX 10 FPGAs revolutionize non-volatile integration by combining on a single die on-chip flash memory (dual-configuration flash and user flash), analog-to-digital converters (ADC), DSP blocks, memory interfaces, integrated voltage regulator, Nios® II embedded processor support and up to 50K logic elements.