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8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Reconfigurable Systems Emerge Nick Tredennick, Editor Gilder Technology Report

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Presentation on theme: "8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Reconfigurable Systems Emerge Nick Tredennick, Editor Gilder Technology Report"— Presentation transcript:

1 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Reconfigurable Systems Emerge Nick Tredennick, Editor Gilder Technology Report

2 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Overview Major trends affecting the microprocessor market –Value PC –Value transistor –Emerging economies Microprocessors –Computer microprocessors –Embedded microprocessors –Configurable microprocessors –PLD microprocessors

3 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Moores Law

4 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Top View: Field-Effect Transistor

5 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick The Microprocessor 10 years of Moores-law progress led to the microprocessor The second generic component Raised engineers productivity Problem-solving became programming Grew to billions of units/year Stalled progress in design methods for thirty years

6 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick The Personal Computer 10 years of microprocessor progress led to the PC Dominated the industry for 20 years Supply of performance grows with Moores law Demand grows more slowly Diverging growth in supply and demand leads to the value PC

7 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick The PC Is Good Enough

8 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick The Path To The Value Transistor

9 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Transistors Are Good Enough

10 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Foundries: Adoption Rate By Process Modeled after: TSMC

11 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Semiconductors: Industry In Transition Causes –The transistor is good enough –The PC is good enough Effects –Shift from tethered to mobile systems Changes design emphasis –From: cost-performance –To: cost-performance-per-watt –Non-volatile memory will emerge –Wafer stacking will emerge –MEMS will emerge

12 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Design Alternatives WhatValueWho Microprocessors$40BProgrammers ASICs$30BLogic designers FPGAs$3BLogic designers FPGAs and microprocessors are usurping a declining ASIC market. Microprocessors (and their derivatives) will win.

13 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Programmers Logic designers Programmers And Logic Designers Logic designers optimize hardware –Microprocessors –Memory Programmers optimize software –Languages –OS –Compilers –Applications The Users Manual is the (problematic) bridge

14 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessors Microprocessor advantages –Flexibility –High-volume production –Usable by programmers Microprocessor limitations –Too slow –Too much power

15 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessors Are Unsuitable

16 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Application-Specific Integrated Circuits ASIC advantages –Best performance –Smallest chip –The benchmark for function efficiency ASIC limitations –Inflexible –Expensive to design –High fixed costs require large production runs –Requires logic design

17 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Programmable Logic Devices PLD advantages –Flexibility –High-volume production PLD limitations –Chips too expensive –Too slow –Requires logic design

18 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick ASICs and PLDs (FPGAs) ASICs and PLDs are competing in a $30-billion market –This competition will not cross into the microprocessor market because designs require logic designers

19 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Supply and Demand: ASICs & PLDs

20 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessors and ASICs For the ultimate in flexibility, programmers map the application onto a general-purpose microprocessor. For the ultimate in performance, logic designers map the application into a custom circuit. Application MicroprocessorASIC Programmers Logic designers

21 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessor Design-time configurable microprocessor Run-time reconfigurable microprocessor Dynamically reconfigurable microprocessor ASIC FPGA ARC MIPS Tensilica Stretch Ascenium Microprocessor Evolution Programmers Logic designers

22 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Design-Time Configurable Microprocessor Application Programmers Logic designers Design-time configurable microprocessor Profile the application Create custom hardware and instructions to accelerate critical application sections Most of the application runs as execution of general-purpose instructions

23 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Design-Time Configurable Microprocessor Profile the application Create custom instructions for critical code sections Build specialized execution units Can be 10 to100 times faster than a general-purpose microprocessor on the target algorithm Examples: ARC and Tensilica Customized microprocessor limitations –Requires logic designers –Creates an application-specific, limited-function microprocessor –Accelerates only critical sections

24 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Run-Time Reconfigurable Microprocessor Application Programmers Logic designers Run-time reconfigurable microprocessor Profile the application Create custom instructions in an FPGA fabric to accelerate critical application sections Most of the application runs as execution of general-purpose instructions

25 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Run-Time Reconfigurable Microprocessor Build a general-purpose microprocessor with integrated FPGA fabric Profile the application Create custom instructions for critical code sections Build custom execution units in FPGA fabric Can be 10 to 100 times faster than a general-purpose microprocessor on the target application Example: Stretch Run-time reconfigurable microprocessor limitations –Accelerates only statically identifiable critical sections –Limited to problems for which profiling works –Profiling is difficult

26 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Dynamically Reconfigurable Microprocessor Application Programmers Logic designers Dynamically reconfigurable microprocessor Create custom instructions in a custom fabric to accelerate the entire application

27 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Dynamically Reconfigurable Microprocessor Each cycle creates a new microprocessor implementation –Each cycle creates a custom circuit (Ascenium instruction) representing hundreds to thousands of conventional instructions Programmed using ANSI-standard programming languages (e.g., C/C++) Tens to 100s of times faster than a general-purpose microprocessor Dynamically reconfigurable microprocessor limitations –There are none on the market today Until Ascenium, no one has figured out how to program a dynamically reconfigurable circuit –VCs dont understand it

28 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessors x86AMD, Intel, Transmeta, Via ARCARC ARMARM MicroBlazeXilinx MIPSMIPS NiosAltera PowerPCIBM, Freescale SPARCSun TensilicaStretch, Tensilica Old stuffEveryone

29 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessor Applications Supercomputers Workstations and servers PCs Embedded systems –Automobiles –Cameras –Cell phones –Game players –MP3 players –Set-top boxes

30 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Computer Markets

31 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessor Markets

32 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Computer Microprocessors x86 –AMD –Intel –Transmeta –Via Proprietary –IBM –Freescale –Sun

33 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Embedded Microprocessors x86AMD, Transmeta, Via ARMARM PowerPCIBM, Freescale Old stuffEveryone –Triscend (Xilinx)

34 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Configurable Microprocessors ARCARC AsceniumAscenium MIPSMIPS NiosAltera TensilicaStretch, Tensilica

35 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick PLD Microprocessors Altera –Nios (soft) Xilinx –MicroBlaze (soft) –PicoBlaze (soft) –PowerPC (hard)

36 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Microprocessor-like DSPs Network processors Specialty processors

37 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick ASICs & Microprocessors

38 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick ASICs & Microprocessors

39 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick ASICs & Microprocessors

40 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Semiconductor Trends Value PCs outsell leading-edge PCs –Mobile applications emerge –Design emphasis shifts from cost performance to cost-performance-per-watt Value transistors outsell leading-edge transistors –Transistor performance overshoots many applications –Increasing demand in emerging economies –Foundry strength grows

41 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Consequences Rise of mobile applications –New non-volatile memories Rise of foundries –Rise of soft (IP) cores –Horizontal fragmentation of integrated device manufacturers Rise of non-volatile FPGAs Rise of reconfigurable systems Growing market for embedded microprocessors –Tethered: traditional role –Mobile: supervisory role

42 8 February 2014Nick Tredennick Industries in Transition Automotive AnalogDigital MechanicalElectrical IsolatedConnected Telecom AnalogDigital CopperOptical, Wireless Biomedical AnalogDigital Wet labsBioinformatics Film/video AnalogDigital IsolatedConnected Consumer AnalogDigital IsolatedConnected TetheredUntethered Computers DesktopEmbedded


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