lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD

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I heard that Lattice Semiconductor Corporation boasted they were providing
the lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD solutions, not sure if the news was true.
Could anybody confirm it? If so could anybody give me a price range for
their lowest-cost solution?

I always have an impression that Xilinx provided the lowest-cost chip while
Altera provided the high-performance one, is it still true? How is the
Lattice compared to Xilinx and Altera?




Re: lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD
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  "Lowest cost" is nearly always qualified to such an extent, that
it is market-droid meanginless.
  You also need to watch the end of next year / high volume asymptote
prices, versus real world (ie now) prices...

  For example, Altera claim their MAX-II devices are lowest cost, but
they have pruned all devices sub 128MC, so their cheapest device
is a lot more expensive than others 32 & 64 MC devices, and indeed
their cheapest MAX ii is a lot more than their cheapest MAX3000....

  What they actually mean is price paid _per_macrocell_
is relatively low, but that does not have the marketing razz....

  So, you need to choose the resource you need, & volumes, then get
prices on that to compare - and remember to include the Loader/config

Re: lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD
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HOO-BOY - strap on your helmets guys, we're in for a rough one -

I think we ALL offer the lowest cost, highest performance device - just have a
problem with how to draw the lines around the various devices

Mike T
p.s. in the words of Pres Clinton - how do you define is?

Re: lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD
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I don't know about the Lattice parts, but some of the Xilinx CPLDs are
*very* inexpensive.  For example, the XC9536XL is under $1.07 in
quantity 100 from Digikey.  I haven't been able to buy 22V10 or even
16V8 style CPLDs for less.

The Spartan 3 FPGAs also seem to have amazingly good pricing.

I haven't compared Altera pricing, but I imagine that they must be

Re: lowest-cost FPGA and CPLD
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Claims like "lowest cost" or "highest performance" are pretty
meaningless in the context of designing with an FPGA.  No matter what
they  measure or how they measure it, unless they are using your exact
design, it is not valid for your needs.  Also, the advertised price is
almost never a price you will actually see.  Its a bit like automobile
prices.  They advertise a super low price on the model sitting in the
back of the lot in the avocado green color with the diesel engine and
the vacuum powered wipers.  But if you want a car you can drive home,
its going to cost a "little more".

I think they all have pretty good products and when it comes to pricing,
you are on your own to get whatever price you can from your distributor;
although I did once get better pricing by showing a sales rep an ad that
claimed some price superiority on a new family line.  When I later tried
to do a little better on the same part in a smaller package I was told
that they could not improve on the previous quote because I was already
getting the 50k price on quantity of a few k per year.  Interestingly
enough, this 50k price was still more than a factor of 3 higher than the
advertised price for 250k per year.  I guess its not until you start
using a full production line capacity that you get the *real* price
breaks...  ;^)


Rick Collins


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