The Linley Group – CertusPro-NX Reinvigorates General-Purpose FPGAs

By Aakash Jani, Senior Analyst, The Linley Group

CertusPro-NX, the fourth product developed using Lattice Semiconductor’s Nexus platform in the last 18 months, delivers class-leading power, performance, and size for diverse applications.

These general-purpose FPGAs offer low power, small packages, and high-bandwidth I/Os, such as PCIe Gen3 and Gigabit Ethernet. They’re well suited to edge AI, industrial IoT, 5G control planes, and other tasks. Lattice sponsored this white paper, but the opinions and analysis are those of the author.

Lattice Semiconductor has modernized an established segment of the FPGA market by releasing its fourth Nexus product, CertusPro-NX. Manufactured in 28nm FD-SOI technology, the new FPGAs have low power and a small form factor to target the lowdensity market. Compared with the company’s earlier Certus-NX, they jump from 17,000 to 96,000 logic cells. The general-purpose-FPGA segment is diverse and grew by approximately 10% in 2020; it serves a broad range of functions, including 5G cellular,

AI, and IoT. These market segments are continuously changing, so FPGAs allow them to circumvent the rigidity of ASICs.

For its new FPGA family, Lattice offers two variants: the CPNX-50K, which has 52,000 logic cells, and the CPNX-100K, which has 96,000 logic cells and is the lead vehicle for alpha and engineering samples. As Figure 1 shows, the latter model has a programmable I/O that supports LPDDR4 DRAM (a first for an FPGA in this class). The company also boosted the internal memory by 3x, allowing CertusPro-NX to save power on memory-intensive operations.

Download the whitepaper here: CertusPro-NX.

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