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3.9Bn transistors on a single chip? It’s not AMD or Intel!

When in comes to delivering pure processing power, transistor density is right up there with clock speed as the key ingredient. We’re used to AMD and Intel revealing ever more transistors packed onto a piece of silicon, but today’s record annoucement comes from a different source altogether. KitGuru pulls out a pocket calculator and starts counting.

With over 2,600 employees in offices stretching across 19 countries, Altera is one of those powerhouse companies that happily sits in the background, doing its thing. But its history is littered with invention, like the world’s first reprogrammable logic device back in 1984.

These days, they focus more on development, tools, IP and reference designs – which they feed into partners like TSMC.

Earlier today, Altera VP Bradley Howe puffed up his chest in pride and announced that his organisation had delivered a 28nm Stratix V FPGA which contains a collosal 3.9 Billion transistors.

In a nod to Intel’s idol, Howe said “Maintaining the rapid pace set by Moore’s Law has allowed programmable logic to remain at the forefront of driving innovations in semiconductor technology. Achieving milestones like this continue to propel FPGAs to new heights of capacity and performance while delivering significantly higher levels of integration”.

Howe claims that Stratix V FPGAs are among the most sophisticated semiconductors shipping in the world today.

One of the initial applications for this technology will be transceivers that are able to operate at 28Gbps. That’s a little faster than your average home Wi-Fi. Even inside Zardon’s residence.

These 3.9 Billion transistor super-chips are shipping now and you can find out more about what they do over here.

If you are a pure geek and want to know exactly how Altera’s new technologies are accelerating development to a point beyond the curve predicted by Moore – then download this free PDF and a feeling of superiority will be yours.

Altera customisable embedded HardCopy block

KitGuru says: Strange that Intel has been beaten on density. Anyone suspect a GeForce GTX595 or Radeon HD 7990 coming soon ?

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