Intel has officially announced its plans to acquire eASIC, a privately held company focused on making structured ASICs, proving Intel’s commitment to 5G and network markets.
According to known details, eASIC is a company based in Santa Clara, California which makes structured ASICs, allowing Intel to address high-performance and power-constrained application in markets like 4G and 5G wireless, networking and IoT, as well as provide a low cost, automated conversion process from field programmable gate arrays FPGAs to structured ASICs.
While Intel is already highly invested in FPGAs, which contain a mixture of logic, memory and digital signal processing blocks that can implement any desired function with extremely high throughput and very low latency, which are ideal for critical cloud and edge applications, a structured ASIC, which is an intermediary technology between FPGAs and ASICs, offer optimized performance and power efficiency.
According to Intel, customers in wireless, networking and the internet of things (IoT) markets usually start with FPGAs for fast time-to-market and flexibility and then migrate to structured ASICs for performance and power optimizations. Structured ASICs usually offer performance and power-efficiency close to a standard-cell ASIC but give companies the faster design time and lower engineering costs, compared to ASICs.
In an undisclosed deal, the eASIC team will join Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group and allow Intel to “meet customers’ diverse needs of time-to-market, features, performance, cost, power and product life cycles”.
Intel also plans to architect a new class of programmable chip that will use Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology to combine FPGAs with structured ASICs on a system-in-package solution.