AGM vs. Gowin

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My holy grail has always been a simple CPU combined with a smallish FPGA.  
There are a few out there, very few, but none of them are available in appr
opriate packages and inexpensive.  

I've found a couple of Chinese startups that seem to have some interesting  
devices.  AGM has the AG6K, a 6k LUT with 250 MHz ARM in a QFP100, pretty m
uch the perfect part.  Trouble is I can't tell if this company is real.  Or
 maybe they are targeting customers buying millions with nothing to offer t
he smaller users.  

Another is by Gowin.  They actually make several.  They have options for ex
tra memory along with an ARM CPU and 2 or 4 kLUTs.  But they fall down on t
he packaging.  They offer a 48QFN and a couple of other larger packages, bu
t nothing suitable.  They use the 88QFN and 100QFP, but not for the ARM ver
sion.  They even have a version with a Bluetooth stack, but for some reason
 that uses an ARC processor (not that it's a problem) and still comes up ve
ry short in the packaging/IO count.  Gowin seems a bit more real, but still
 hard to find anyone selling their product line.  

The docs from both companies are not so easy to glean info from.  I guess t
hat goes with the territory of start ups.  

So close and yet so far...  

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  Rick C.

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Re: AGM vs. Gowin
I had a talk with the Gowin folks.  They have plans for FPGA/CPU in a 48 pi
n package, to be out 1Q2020, but not nearly enough I/Os, only 30ish (don't  
recall the exact number).  To bring the chip out in a larger package with m
ore I/Os means they need a customer with plans to use the device in large n
umbers.  My quantities aren't enough.  

On the other hand, an email I sent to AGM has not received a reply.  That s
eems pretty clear.  They are only dealing with large customers and won't be
 selling through distribution for some time.  

Anlogic is another FPGA startup, but I see no sign they are selling to smal
l buyers.  Their chip is used for a RISC-V board as a soft core on the EG4S
20.  Again, I haven't been able to contact them.  In fact, their web site i
s all in Chinese.  Maybe I need to learn a new language.  

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  Rick C.

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Re: AGM vs. Gowin
On 11/16/19 7:38 PM, Rick C wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Microsemi (now part of Microchip) has some smaller FPGAs (with an
optional Arm Cortex M3) in a 144QFN. Its a bit bigger than you are
talking about

Re: AGM vs. Gowin
On Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 5:14:57 PM UTC-5, Richard Damon wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
A.  There are a few out there, very few, but none of them are available in  
appropriate packages and inexpensive.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ing devices.  AGM has the AG6K, a 6k LUT with 250 MHz ARM in a QFP100, pret
ty much the perfect part.  Trouble is I can't tell if this company is real.
  Or maybe they are targeting customers buying millions with nothing to off
er the smaller users.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
r extra memory along with an ARM CPU and 2 or 4 kLUTs.  But they fall down  
on the packaging.  They offer a 48QFN and a couple of other larger packages
, but nothing suitable.  They use the 88QFN and 100QFP, but not for the ARM
 version.  They even have a version with a Bluetooth stack, but for some re
ason that uses an ARC processor (not that it's a problem) and still comes u
p very short in the packaging/IO count.  Gowin seems a bit more real, but s
till hard to find anyone selling their product line.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ss that goes with the territory of start ups.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, I'm familiar with the general features of the Microsemi (now Microchip
?, formerly Actel) line.  The QFP144 is wider than the board I want to put  
this chip on.  The QFP100 barely fits.  A QN88 is a good fit if the undersi
de pad doesn't get in the way of routing vias, but I think it will be ok.  
I have five resistor packs on the other side of the board, but they might n
ot be needed with a new FPGA.  They are mostly just insurance of I/Os being
 in the right state after power up and before configuration is complete.  A
lso, their parts with the ARM are rather pricey.  

Lattice has a newer XO3D in a 100QFP that should do the job.  A bit more th
an I'd like to pay, but workable.  The Chinese parts could be the perfect f
it if both they and the company making them are real enough.  If I have to  
I can use another old part like the Spartan 3A, but how much longer will th
ey be affordable nearing the 20 year point?  If none of the Chinese parts w
ork out, it will be the XO3D or a BGA.  High pin count BGAs tend to cost mo
re and the finer design rules for the PWB make that cost more too.  

--  

  Rick C.

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