Are Gowin Serious Contenders?

I'm looking at using Gowin in a design and I not sure about them. They are
being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheapest 1 k
LUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up quickl
y, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device but not
at Mouser.
Edge Electronics lists the 4 kLUT device for $3.50 qty 1. I've written the
m for delivery. We'll see what they say.
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Rick C
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I know the tech rep for Gowin in the UK so I knew who to talk to, but it was quite encouraging. I have a little dev board to play with and I've installed the tools. The general impression I get is that it's like some of the Lattice folk moved and set up Lattice Mk 2. For you and me, as long term Lattice users, it feels very comfortable. I've been quoted a *lot* less than Mouser for the 8k LUT part with on chip 8Mbyte SDRAM (1k. I haven't bought any yet - so I have no info re. delivery performance etc. The 88 pin QFN package with SDRAM inside is pretty cool, tiny (10mm square) but about 60 truly available pins and none used up by memory. 0.4mm pitch but I've done that on QFN before (in prototypes) with no problems.
Apparently the 2 and 4k LUT parts with on board 60MHz Cortex M3 are dead cheap too.
I mean to play with it over the weekend - I'll let you know how it goes.
The 8k part has 10 DSP modules, which at a casual glance are the same as Lattices in the XP2.
MK
Reply to
Michael Kellett
are being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheapest 1 kLUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up qu ickly, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device but not at Mouser.
them for delivery. We'll see what they say.
I've heard that a lot. I use a Lattice XP device in a current design. I wonder if my Chinese Lattice programming cable will work with the Gowin dev ices?
.
The 100 QFP I'm using is 0.5 mm pitch and I have no trouble with it. At 6/ 6 design rules 0.4 mm pitch is still very practical.
One problem with Gowin is even though I've looked at the parts many, many t imes, I can't tell you which parts those are. I'm not a fan of their syste m of numbering and their lack of product selection guides. It's probably b een almost a year since I've looked at them hard though.
Here is an issue, the web site mentions the GW1N-2, but I can't find a data sheet on it. Is that a product???
Multiplier/DSP modules are a requirement for this design. I don't want to be making multipliers out of fabric.
Mostly I need to see lower pricing and I need to believe they will be aroun d in 10 years, oh, and produce will be available without long waits. I had contact with a local Gowin sales person a while back. I'll try writing hi m.
Which dev board do you have, the Sipeed Tang Nano thing? I've thought abou t getting that board with a display, but 1 kLUTs is not very big. I guess Sipeed went for low price.
As an aside, maybe you can explain the MK 2 thing. I understand it means " Mark 2" which is rev 2. But why? I'm working with mostly Brits and they k eep labeling the docs as rev x.y or Mk x.y randomly. I've even seen them u se rev x.y in the file name and MK x.y in the text of the file.
Why mix terms like this? Not sure why it bugs me, but I guess it's just th at I'm not familiar with it and it's not glazed donuts per bald eagle.
I try to avoid US lingo, but sometimes I don't know I'm using it. Once in the conference call I said something was about as big as a quarter not real izing no one even knew what a "quarter" was much less how big it is. Then I tend to use inches which the Brits don't know even though they invented t hem! Brits gave up on that crap a long time ago and we are rather stuck in the rut here in the US. They use an odd metric number and I have to find my calculator to convert, lol.
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Rick C
Certainly Gowin's part numbering is confusing !
GW1N-1xxxx is a 1k LUT GW1N-4xxxx is a 2k LUT part
But there are loads of parts in each size with letters replacing my xxx to denote what features there are out of RAM, SDRAM, RF(Bluetooth), embedded ARM etc.
My dev board came from Gowin and is a DK-START-GW1N4 (yes they missed the hyphen between the N and the 4 !)
I've spent most of today messing with the tools and the board - the constraints system is not as nice as Lattice but easier to understand than Altera.
The tools think that a 27 bit counter can crank at about 130MHz - I'm about ready to stop playing and actually make it do something better than blinking an LED.
Sorry about Mk x - as you said, some local lingo is so ingrained you are quite unaware of it.
I wouldn't put it in a document, mine are usually Issue N.
The Gowin board has almost all the pins available and seems OK - it uses the 144 pin chip (about $90).
There is a nice cheap board from Trenz (about $30) with the GW1N-9 in 88 pin QFN on it but not all the pins are accessible.
formatting link

Antti Lukats, who used to post here works there now.
MK
Reply to
Michael Kellett
:
ey are being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheape st 1 kLUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up quickly, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device b ut not at Mouser.
en them for delivery. We'll see what they say.
it
k
I wonder if my Chinese Lattice programming cable will work with the Gowin devices?
etc.
t 6/6 design rules 0.4 mm pitch is still very practical.
ad
ny times, I can't tell you which parts those are. I'm not a fan of their s ystem of numbering and their lack of product selection guides. It's probab ly been almost a year since I've looked at them hard though.
data sheet on it. Is that a product???
s.
as
to be making multipliers out of fabric.
round in 10 years, oh, and produce will be available without long waits. I had contact with a local Gowin sales person a while back. I'll try writin g him.
about getting that board with a display, but 1 kLUTs is not very big. I gu ess Sipeed went for low price.
ns "Mark 2" which is rev 2. But why? I'm working with mostly Brits and th ey keep labeling the docs as rev x.y or Mk x.y randomly. I've even seen th em use rev x.y in the file name and MK x.y in the text of the file.
t that I'm not familiar with it and it's not glazed donuts per bald eagle.
in the conference call I said something was about as big as a quarter not realizing no one even knew what a "quarter" was much less how big it is. T hen I tend to use inches which the Brits don't know even though they invent ed them! Brits gave up on that crap a long time ago and we are rather stuc k in the rut here in the US. They use an odd metric number and I have to f ind my calculator to convert, lol.
Yes, he was big in small things I seem to recall. I think he made a tiny b oard with a very tiny BGA FPGA once. Probably an iCE40 device, but I don't recall for sure.
The module is interesting. That is the package I would like to use if not the part. The 48 pin QFN is I/O limited in this design.
I think the -2 and -4 parts are 2k and 4k LUTs, well 3500 anyway for the -4 . They just don't seem to be pushing the -2 parts and I wonder if they are going away.
I need to keep the list of issues short and I'm just not sure about these p arts. I need to talk to the salesman.
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  Rick C. 

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Rick C
:
ey are being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheape st 1 kLUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up quickly, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device b ut not at Mouser.
en them for delivery. We'll see what they say.
it
k
I wonder if my Chinese Lattice programming cable will work with the Gowin devices?
etc.
t 6/6 design rules 0.4 mm pitch is still very practical.
ad
ny times, I can't tell you which parts those are. I'm not a fan of their s ystem of numbering and their lack of product selection guides. It's probab ly been almost a year since I've looked at them hard though.
data sheet on it. Is that a product???
s.
as
to be making multipliers out of fabric.
round in 10 years, oh, and produce will be available without long waits. I had contact with a local Gowin sales person a while back. I'll try writin g him.
about getting that board with a display, but 1 kLUTs is not very big. I gu ess Sipeed went for low price.
ns "Mark 2" which is rev 2. But why? I'm working with mostly Brits and th ey keep labeling the docs as rev x.y or Mk x.y randomly. I've even seen th em use rev x.y in the file name and MK x.y in the text of the file.
t that I'm not familiar with it and it's not glazed donuts per bald eagle.
in the conference call I said something was about as big as a quarter not realizing no one even knew what a "quarter" was much less how big it is. T hen I tend to use inches which the Brits don't know even though they invent ed them! Brits gave up on that crap a long time ago and we are rather stuc k in the rut here in the US. They use an odd metric number and I have to f ind my calculator to convert, lol.
I see Gowin has an $80 programming cable. I bet it's not much different fr om the ones I use with Lattice. A web page says the FTDI 2232H is identifi ed as "GOWIN USB CABLE (FT2CH)". I'd like to put the FTDI chip on our boar d so we can just use a USB cable without anything special. Most likely the software guys will need to flash the chips. I guess we could have the pro cessor do it, but that means the code has to be written and working first.
Better to have a cable to fall back on.
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re being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheapest 1 kLUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up quic kly, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device but n ot at Mouser.
hem for delivery. We'll see what they say.
Sometimes I wonder about companies and if they really want customers. I re alized my copy of the GW1N datasheet might be out of date, so I wanted to c heck that. I clicked through their menu structure to the web page for thei
en I clicked documentation... only to find a listing of every document for
h. No way to sort, no way to search.
I had the old document open and found a number, DS100 which a search for pu lled up one item. Much better. But now I can't download it because I'm no t logged in. So I log in, but does it take me back to the search results p age? No, I'm on the Profile page for my login. I find my way back and dow nload the document.
Now, after trying to remember why I was looking for the data sheet in the f irst place, I find the table of devices and packages contain I/O counts... except for the -2 devices. They only have check marks. What's up with tha t??? Maybe it's because they aren't making -2 devices yet. Then I realize the -6 column is entirely gone! I guess they decided they don't need no s tinkin' -6 devices and have dropped the plans for them.
In talking to distribution it seems they know little about this company. L ike a typical, data hungry engineer, I was hoping to get pricing and delive ry on every part in the lineup. Distribution seemed to resist that idea. I guess maybe this generates extra work for them we don't see. I know comp anies tend to want followup on inquiries.
It bugs me that they can't do a better job with the web site and the presen tation of their technical info in general. They seem to not understand the concept of a selection guide or the utility of overviews of products, comp arisons and contrasts rather than expecting a designer to wade through a bu nch of data. I love data as much as the next guy, but having a road map to show me where I should direct my search is a good idea too.
Anyway, now that I spent 10 minutes whining about them wasting 10 minutes o f my time, the pricing I'm getting on -4 and -9 parts seem to be VERY good. I shouldn't blab out of school, but the numbers are far below Mouser pric es and much more in line with the Edge prices. Seems they are only selling the fastest version of the chips because the yield rates are so good. I a sked about the -4 parts and with some arm twisting also got pricing on some -9 parts. I expect to be using the -9 when I have a board respin to repla ce an EOL Lattice part.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C
:
ey are being sold at Mouser, but the prices are not so great. Their cheape st 1 kLUT chips are not too bad at $3@1k, but from there the prices run up quickly, $8@1k for the 4 kLUT device. I thought they had a 2 kLUT device b ut not at Mouser.
en them for delivery. We'll see what they say.
it
k
I wonder if my Chinese Lattice programming cable will work with the Gowin devices?
etc.
t 6/6 design rules 0.4 mm pitch is still very practical.
ad
ny times, I can't tell you which parts those are. I'm not a fan of their s ystem of numbering and their lack of product selection guides. It's probab ly been almost a year since I've looked at them hard though.
data sheet on it. Is that a product???
s.
as
to be making multipliers out of fabric.
round in 10 years, oh, and produce will be available without long waits. I had contact with a local Gowin sales person a while back. I'll try writin g him.
about getting that board with a display, but 1 kLUTs is not very big. I gu ess Sipeed went for low price.
ns "Mark 2" which is rev 2. But why? I'm working with mostly Brits and th ey keep labeling the docs as rev x.y or Mk x.y randomly. I've even seen th em use rev x.y in the file name and MK x.y in the text of the file.
t that I'm not familiar with it and it's not glazed donuts per bald eagle.
in the conference call I said something was about as big as a quarter not realizing no one even knew what a "quarter" was much less how big it is. T hen I tend to use inches which the Brits don't know even though they invent ed them! Brits gave up on that crap a long time ago and we are rather stuc k in the rut here in the US. They use an odd metric number and I have to f ind my calculator to convert, lol.
I think I figured out why you would use MK 2 instead of rev. Must get conf using when you use your initials on a comment or change. lol
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C

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