Intel used to make chips for no one but itself until a while ago, but it has begun to open its factories to other chip developers, in this case Tabula, a designer of programmable logic chips for networks.
The deal between Tabula and Intel will have the latter manufacturing 22nm-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) for the former.
The processors make up the ABAX family of 3D programmable logic devices (3PLD) and will be supported even by applications that normally rely on ASICs or ASSPs.
The reason for this is the high level of programmability of ABAX devices and their high-performance I/Os: 920 general-purpose I/Os and 48 6.5Gb/s SerDes.
Also, Tabula uses Spacetime programmable fabric, which is fairly balanced and can clock all of its individual parts (logic, DSP, memory, and interconnect) at the same frequency.
“Intel’s revolutionary manufacturing technology breakthrough employing tri-gate transistors at the 22nm process node will provide our company with a head start of several years,” Daniel Gitlin, vice president of manufacturing technology at Tabula, reportedly said.
“We believe this breakthrough will extend Tabula’s Spacetime technology lead further beyond the rest of the programmable logic industry.”
The design flow that will be utilized for the making of the 3LPDs will use synthesis, placement and routing to automatically compile designs from RTL into silicon. In other words, the procedure is more than a little similar to the FPGA and ASIC flows.
“Intel’s tri-gate transistors are a revolutionary breakthrough and provide an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency, which Intel and our manufacturing customers like Tabula can use to bring superior computing capabilities to market,” said Sunit Rikhi, vice president of technology and manufacturing group at Intel.
“Intel has worked closely with Tabula throughout the product design cycle to co-optimize Tabula’s 3PLD family with Intel’s 22nm manufacturing process and design kits.”