Efinix and their new Trion FPGAs -

I'm talking about these guys:
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Their Trion program seems interesting:
- it stretches from area that is occupied by Lattice's MachXO3 on the low end and ECP5 on hight end
- no onboard FLASH.Just OTP on few small models and nothing on high end
- universal tile that can do routing as well as LUT/MEM/logic
- 5 bit BLOCK RAM instead of traditional 9-bit
- additional simpplifications on the process end claim 4x chip price reduction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
Trion on first impression looks nice, but:
- a bit slower than ECP5
- based on digikey prices, not cheaper than EPC5, or even pricier at some points
has anyone used them and has some data to share on the matter ?
Reply to
Brane2
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end and ECP5 on hight end
ction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
points
They do seem to be a bit of "me too" in the FPGA arena. Not only are their parts about the same as others already in the field and about the same pri cing, they are using all the same BGA type of packaging and the same sort o f hard IP. I see the smallest part in the family doesn't have any LVDS I/O .
The main complaint I have with them is the near total use of BGA packages. My needs are typically for something like a QFN88 or a QFP100. The QFP144 won't even fit on my board, lol.
The T8F81C2 in the BGA81 package is certainly affordable at $5.50. I just wish it had something like a CM0/CM3 processor on the die. I'm going to ke ep watching Gowin and AGM.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C
I think one reason for the predominance of BGA packages is that they are a lot smaller than non-BGA packages, even with a lot less pins. Yes, there are board cost/assembly issues with BGAs, but my guess is that there isn't enough demand at the very small end to make it worth the tooling cost to make them.
Reply to
Richard Damon
low end and ECP5 on hight end
d
eduction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
ome points
heir parts about the same as others already in the field and about the same pricing, they are using all the same BGA type of packaging and the same so rt of hard IP. I see the smallest part in the family doesn't have any LVDS I/O.
es. My needs are typically for something like a QFN88 or a QFP100. The QF P144 won't even fit on my board, lol.
ust wish it had something like a CM0/CM3 processor on the die. I'm going t o keep watching Gowin and AGM.
Yes, I'm sure of that, but there are companies selling FPGAs in 100QFP. No w there are a couple of start ups using that package as well as the 88QFN. If you aren't building cell phones, these are alternatives providing a low er system cost not to mention ease of inspection and rework.
In particular AGM has 6 kLUT and a 250 MHz CM3 in a 100QFP (if you can buy it) and Gowin has a 4 kLUT part in both a 100QFP and the 88QFN for under $3 .40 (a part with a CM3 processor will be out in Q1).
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Reply to
Rick C
end and ECP5 on hight end
ction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
points
I dug into the parts a bit more and if I bite the bullet with the package, the T8 looks pretty good. But it has some limitations.
There is 12kB of block RAM available in widths that include x5 and multiple s. A bit odd, but potentially useful. So the RAM could be 12 kW of 10 bit s. As instruction memory that can be useful. I just wish it had a bit mor e memory.
In the 81 pin BGA package it has only 1 of the five PLLs available and that is "simple" whatever that means. That package only has 55 GPIOs. Many of the I/O features are not available in the smaller packages. The 144QFP is a monster and isn't of much use to me.
Packaging is a PITA.
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Reply to
Rick C
ow end and ECP5 on hight end
duction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
me points
, the T8 looks pretty good. But it has some limitations.
les. A bit odd, but potentially useful. So the RAM could be 12 kW of 10 b its. As instruction memory that can be useful. I just wish it had a bit m ore memory.
at is "simple" whatever that means. That package only has 55 GPIOs. Many of the I/O features are not available in the smaller packages. The 144QFP is a monster and isn't of much use to me.
I tried accessing the web site to get pricing at their store. After days t hey have not approved my login so I can visit their store. A sales person sent me an email but has not responded to my reply. Strange. I was hoping to get pricing info on some larger parts.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C
They only approved my login after a fairly stroppy email. I think that currently Efinix fail all tests for being ready to do business.
I can't understand the package thing - I thought that Microchip had proved that getting design-ins was key to getting business and making it easy to get started was the key to getting design-ins.
Sub 1mm pitch BGA packages add huge amounts of cost right at the very front end of a project - often the bit when you're using the tea and coffee budget to try and get the bosses interested. But 0.5mm pitch TQFP and QFN can be hand soldered. I'm amazed that the aspiring newcomers to the FPGA market aren't more actively filling that gap.
MK
Reply to
Michael Kellett
low end and ECP5 on hight end
nd
reduction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
some points
age, the T8 looks pretty good. But it has some limitations.
tiples. A bit odd, but potentially useful. So the RAM could be 12 kW of 1 0 bits. As instruction memory that can be useful. I just wish it had a bi t more memory.
that is "simple" whatever that means. That package only has 55 GPIOs. Ma ny of the I/O features are not available in the smaller packages. The 144Q FP is a monster and isn't of much use to me.
ys they have not approved my login so I can visit their store. A sales per son sent me an email but has not responded to my reply. Strange. I was ho ping to get pricing info on some larger parts.
I hadn't thought of it that way. I suppose some number of projects do star t with midnight requisitioned, unsanctioned efforts. Still, as the Xilinx reps pointed out some time ago, each package supported adds cost, not just up front, but continuing costs. So any start up will be cautious with addi ng new packages.
Gowin and AGM both are supporting these easier to work with packages, but i t is still unclear how "real" they are. As I've posted I have actually had a phone conference with Gowin representatives, but I get zero response fro m AGM. I don't recall what packages Anlogic has, but other than a board at Seeed has no presence.
I'm glad I'm not alone in preferring the QFN/QFP packages.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C
You might almost think Lattice are listening:
The Crosslink 17 and 40 will be available in 72 pin QFN, as well as all the BGA packages. You only get 40 IO pins out of the 72.
MK
Reply to
Michael Kellett
end and ECP5 on hight end
ction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
points
Looking at their manuals they seem to not provide any simulation capability . They say they are compatible with iVerilog and don't mention VHDL anywhe re in their documentation that I can find. I guess they only support Veril og and you are on your own for the simulation capability.
Interesting.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C
ow end and ECP5 on hight end
duction ( only 7 metalisation layers instead of 14 etc)
me points
ty. They say they are compatible with iVerilog and don't mention VHDL anyw here in their documentation that I can find. I guess they only support Ver ilog and you are on your own for the simulation capability.
I finally heard back from them about my login approval. But there's nothin g to see. Their datasheets used to be behind the login and now they are no t. It got me into their store but they only have sample kits, so you still need to contact a sales person for pricing and I'm not clear what this say s about availability of the T13 and T20. Digikey only has the T4 and T8.
All the sample boxes have 10 chips and are $100.
The salesman wants to talk to me. I guess I'll need to do that.
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  Rick C. 

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Reply to
Rick C

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