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Intel and Altera to co-develop 14nm multi-die devices

Intel Corp. and Altera this week said they would extend their collaboration to the development of multi-die devices that leverage Intel’s world-class package and assembly capabilities. The multi-die devices will feature Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs made using 14nm process technology as well as other components. This will allow Altera to offer its solutions to broader range of customers.

Altera’s work with Intel will enable the development of multi-die devices comprising of Stratix 10 FPGAs [field programmable gate arrays] and SoCs [system-on-chips] with other innovative components, which may include DRAM, SRAM, ASICs, processors and analog components, in a single package. The integration will be enabled through the use of high-performance heterogeneous multi-die interconnect technology. Altera’s heterogeneous multi-die devices offer the benefit of traditional 2.5 and 3D approaches with more favorable economic metrics. The solutions will address the performance, memory bandwidth and thermal challenges impacting high-end applications in the communications, high-performance computing, broadcast and military segments.

Altera Stratix 10 is powered by quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processor system, complementing the device’s floating-point digital signal processing (DSP) blocks and high-performance FPGA fabric. The Cortex-A53 is among the most energy-efficient of ARM’s processors, which also delivers such crucial capabilities as virtualization support, 256TB memory reach and error correction code (ECC) on L1 and L2 caches. Furthermore, the 64-bit Cortex-A53 core can run in 32-bit mode, which will run operating systems and code written for ARMv7 chips unmodified, allowing a smooth upgrade path from Altera’s 28nm and 20nm SoC FPGAs.

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“Our partnership with Altera to manufacture next-generation FPGAs and SoCs using our 14nm tri-gate process is going exceptionally well,” said Sunit Rikhi, vice president and general manager of Intel Custom Foundry. “Our close collaboration enables us to work together in many areas related to semiconductor manufacturing and packaging. Together, both companies are building off one another’s expertise with the primary focus on building industry-disrupting products.”

In case Intel and Altera are keeping the original schedule, then the latter already has working samples of its Stratix 10 chips made using 14nm process technology. While we do not know when the two companies plan to make the Stratix 10 and multi-die devices on its base, it looks like they are more or less satisfied with performance and quality in case they decided to assemble multi-chip packages.

KitGuru Says: Looks like Intel’s foundry business is developing rather fine. Perhaps, there are no tens of customers, but at least Altera seems to be rather happy with Intel’s 14nm process, which has not been deployed for Intel’s own commercial production.

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