What’s New in FPGAs at Achronix: A Q&A With EDACafé

Authored By:
Alexandra Saavedra
Sr. Marketing & Communications Manager

Posted On: Aug 22, 2023

At Achronix, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with FPGAs. Sometimes when moving so fast, it is hard to keep up with everything happening at the company! That is why our VP of Marketing, Steve Mensor, recently sat down with the team from EDACafé to talk about what's new in the world of Achronix.

Read on to see the highlights of Steve's recent Q&A session.

EDACafé: Can you quickly give us an overview of Achronix and what you guys do?

Steve Mensor: Achronix is an FPGA supplier. We supply FPGA technology in the form of standalone FPGA products. We also supply FPGA technology that can be delivered as licensed IP so that companies can take a high-performance FPGA fabric and put it into their ASIC.

Our PCIe Express form-factor acceleration cards are already set up off-the-shelf for companies that want to make different acceleration applications using FPGA technology. They can get our VectorPath card to deploy in their system for prototyping or as an end product.

VectorPath Accelerator Order Form

EDACafé: Achronix recently did a press release about pushing networking boundaries with 400 GbE and PCI Gen 5.0 for SmartNICs. Can you tell us more about that?

Steve Mensor: That is our ANIC solution. ANIC stands for Achronix Network Infrastructure Code. It's a suite of flexible IP blocks optimized to accelerate high-performance networking pipelines. Essentially, it's a suite of IP that's already been set up to support very high-bandwidth packet processing or packet type of data streams in harmony with our high-bandwidth or high-performance interfaces.

For example, our Speedster7t FPGA has two 400 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two ports for PCI Express 5.0. It has very high-bandwidth memory implemented with GDDR6 memory devices as well as DDR4. It provides a framework for you to work in this environment, stream in data, and manage it. Ultimately, that lets you accelerate your time to market where you don't have to spend time building the infrastructure that is built basically in all these types of systems. We've taken that difficult task, simplified it, and put it into a suite called our ANIC solution.

As we participated in the SmartNICs Summit, we announced that the ANIC solution now supports 400 Gigabit Ethernet operation.

EDACafé: What makes that 400 Gigabit Ethernet possible?

Steve Mensor: We have a 2D NoC or 2D network-on-chip at the center of our Speedster7t FPGAs. So, the 2D NoC is a group of rows and column structures of ASIC technology that implements a standard NoC functionality. What's unique and not available anywhere else in the marketplace is that we've taken that 2D NoC environment and overlaid it on top of our FPGA fabric so that it's tied in with these very high-bandwidth interfaces, making it very easy to stream data in and out.

EDACafé: There was another announcement from Achronix about Fraunhofer IIS/EASHoffer selecting Achronix eFPGAs to build a heterogeneous chiplet demonstrator. Can you tell us about that?

Steve Mensor: Yes, so that press release is one of our Speedcore customers, and they are licensing our eFPGA IP technology. They're deploying it to build a chiplet that will be used to demonstrate very high-bandwidth chiplet technology interfaces. It's very exciting because we, as a company, are very focused on heterogeneous environments. We will be personally building chiplet technologies for integration in our devices and for sale. There's been a lot of discussion around the best way to do chip-to-chip communication, and Fraunhofer will be demonstrating that type of functionality.

EDACafé: Finally, tell us about the announcement about Achronix achieving PCIe 5.0 ×16 Compliance at 32 GT/s.

Steve Mensor: We're really excited about this. This is our VectorPath Acceleration Card, which is a PCI Express form factor. We went to PCI-SIG and earned compliance at PCIe 5.0 x16. This is very important because we build a balanced environment. When you're doing 400 Gigabit Ethernet, you want to ensure you have similar amount of bandwidth both at your memory interfaces and compute interface using PCI Express. This card supports both 400 Gigabit Ethernet and PCIe 5.0 x16 interfaces.

This is unique in the marketplace. We are the only FPGA company with a PCIe Express form-factor card compliant at PCIe 5.0 x 16. It's a unique value proposition that aligns with our overall value proposition, which is for high-performance, high-end FPGA functionality.

Newsletter Subscription Form