What About CPLD Standardization ?

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In a previous post I got into the subject of CPLDs going obsolete.  Hey
folks, what ever happened to standardization with logic anyway?  Remember
7400 series, 16V8's, and 22V10's ?  Those were logic standards with
multi-source vendors and common pinouts.  Why is it still necessary for
every CPLD vendor on the planet to put out all proprietary families?  Why
does standardization not apply to CPLDs?

I can buy the argument that once upon a time the stuff was cutting edge with
different vendors doing things very differently.  But I don't see that
anymore.  Almost all the familes have ISP,  nearly all of them have one or
more lines with very similar capabilities to other vendor lines, they nearly
all offer the same set of macro cell and package options, and the new
familes are all going full CMOS with zero static power.  They seem to be
converging in everyway - except for the pinouts.

I think the vendors themselves would benefit greatly from getting together
and writing a common standard for a base line family from 32-512 cells with
identical pinouts.  God knows we poor OEM designers would love to see it.
They could still do their special lines as well, but having at least one
common CPLD industry standard would eliminate many headaches and board revs
for everyone.

The vendors probably once believed that they would see better pricing with
proprietary lines.  But I don't think it makes any difference.  They still
have to compete aggressively against each other with pricing now, and they
often compete very aggressively.  The feature/capability differences may
have been significant once upon a time, but today most of the capabilities
are common to all of the mainstream familes.  Standards benefit everyone.

Just my $0.02 worth.


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