With a little up-front planning, you can design a future-proof system that starts with an FPGA logic implementation, then switches to a footprint-compatible Intel® eASIC™ device, and then jumps to full-custom ASIC as system sales volumes grow – and you can do all of this with the same PCB design. Many design engineers already know about the logic options described above, but there’s another interesting facet to future-proofed system design that involves the board-level power supplies. FPGAs, Intel eASIC devices, and custom ASICs all have different power-rail requirements with respect to voltage levels, voltage regulation, noise and ripple, and current consumption. Using Intel Enpirion® power solutions, the same PCB design can also accommodate the power needs for FPGAs, eASIC devices, and custom ASICs.
If you’re not already familiar with Intel Enpirion PowerSoCs, they’re a family of small, high-efficiency point-of-load (POL) power devices that can help you meet stringent power-rail voltage, noise, and ripple requirements; constrained thermal and power budgets; and demanding PCB area constraints. The figure below illustrates the flexibility that footprint-compatible Intel Enpirion power solutions can provide.
Note: You can parallel as many as four EC2650QI devices as needed
For all of the logic devices in question – FPGAs, eASIC devices, and ASICs – the core power supply draws the most current. As the figure shows, the 40 A Intel Enpirion EM2140 could power the FPGA’s core power rail. After transitioning from an FPGA to an eASIC device, you could then replace the 40 A EM2140 PowerSoc with the lower power, footprint-compatible 30 A EM2130 device without re-spinning your board. Beyond the EM2140 and EM2130 PowerSoCs, the Intel Enpirion Power portfolio offers a large selection of other footprint-compatible solutions that can meet the logic devices’ supply voltage requirements for core, memory, transceiver, I/O, and auxiliary supplies. Some examples are shown in the figure and you can find a complete list in the solution brief attached below. These footprint-compatible Intel Enpirion PowerSoCs can save system power and reduce system BOM cost while future-proofing your design.
For more information, see the Intel Enpirion Solution Brief titled “Powering Intel eASIC Devices.”
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