Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View

Field Programmable Pass Transistor Array.

Is there such a thing?  I'm imagining even something that's NMOS-only
with dual rail encoding worked into the fabric.

I guess my point is that CMOS is cool, but it would be nice if people
could experiment with other logic styles without giving up the
coolness of programmable hardware.  The most straightforward way I can
think of is to give people a pile of pass transistors connected by
programmable interconnect.  I'm sure moving to a coarser granularity is
probably a good idea too.

  - a

"The first time I read this book I felt what I could only explain as a
 great disturbance in the Force: it was as if a billion washing
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you were an IC vendor, how many of these could you expect to sell ?
The answer to that will tell you if there is such a thing.

So what does exist :
There are
* Programmable Cross points, from Lattice
* Programmable Analog parts, but usually with rather 'ordinary'
   analog specs, narrow Frequency ranges, and rather high prices.

* Analog Switch technology is widely deployed, and comes in tiny
   packages, so you can always construct your own...

* and there is always a sea of CD4007's :)


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Two companies have made such parts in the past and offered them to end
    Icube:    made some fairly large cross bar products. Had limitted
        success. Invented the quichswich products, which were
        seccond sourced by IDT, and these live on, but are
        trivial compared to the crossbar products. The remnants
        of the company were acquired by Fairchild.
        These parts appear to live on as:


    Aptix:    This was more of a chip that looked like an FPGA, with
        all the logic blocks missing. So you got to route stuff
        similar to the way you might route I/O to I/O on an
        FPGA. Their target market was the configurable
        interconnect between a sea of FPGAs on a board, used for
        ASIC emulation. Innitially these cr*zy people did these
        chips as anti-fuse. Its lack of success was blamed on
        there not being a market for these types of parts. That
        one-time programmability might be an issue was apparently
        not thought to be a restriction. The company restructured
        and eventually did a "RAM" based product, but it also
        changed into a systems company, selling boards with
        their parts, as well as FPGAs from various vendors. A
        major part of their system is the SW that partitions
        large designs across multiple FPGAs, and figures out what
        goes into the external routing chips.


        The company still seems to be using this technology, see


        in the second paragraph:

        "Aptix’s proprietary Field Programmable Interconnect (FPIC™)

        Currently, things are less that ideal for this company:




Site Timeline