20th International Conference
on Field Programmable Logic and Applications
Milano, ITALY, Aug. 31st - Sep. 2nd, 2010

FPGAs at 28nm: Meeting the Challenge of Modern Systems-on-a-Chip

Vaughn Betz
Senior Director, Software Engineering, Altera Corporation

FPGAs continue to be amongst the first chips in next-generation process technologies, and 28 nm FPGAs will soon arrive. The tremendous transistor counts available at 28 nm enable the design of very large and complex systems. Such systems, implemented on an FPGA, often require "hard" logic to meet high-performance requirements. New FPGAs will include a wide variety of such blocks and thus make an excellent platform to implement large systems-on-a-chip.
This talk will give an overview of some of the key new features of Altera's 28 nm FPGAs, such as partial reconfiguration, enhancements to the programmable fabric, and new hard blocks. I will describe some of the process challenges of designing fast FPGAs with good power consumption and reliability, and highlight the solutions used in Stratix V. For FPGA designers to complete ever-larger systems in the same design time, FPGA CAD tools need to enable faster turnaround time and higher levels of design abstraction. I will describe products and research efforts underway to address these CAD challenges, including new flows to quickly make small design changes, partial reconfiguration tools that allow designers to "swap in" portions of a circuit, and system design tools that work above the HDL level.

Speaker's bio
Dr. Betz is Senior Director of Software Engineering at Altera Corporation. The responsibilities of Dr. Betz's team include next-generation FPGA architecture development; floorplanning, placement and routing; synthesis optimization and memory interface IP development; and timing, power and signal integrity modeling.
Dr. Betz received his PhD from the University of Toronto, his MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his BSc from the University of Manitoba, all in electrical engineering. Dr. Betz co-founded Right Track CAD in 1998 to commercialize the VPR CAD system he developed in his PhD. Altera acquired Right Track in 2000, and developed the Stratix and Cyclone FPGA families with the acquired technology. Dr. Betz has published over 25 technical papers and holds 50 US patents.