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Tiny FPGAs boast Linux support

Jan 27, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

QuickLogic is shipping a family of FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) in 8×8 mm packages suitable for handheld gadgets such as mobile phones, portable media players, and GPS devices. The Eclipse II FPGAs are supported with Linux drivers for IP (intellectual property) functions such as IDE, PCI, and SDIO interfaces,… according to the company.

The Eclipse II family's thin, fine-pitch (0.5mm) BGA (ball grid array) package has 196 balls in an 8×8 mm footprint.

According to QuickLogic, tight component spacings along with the lack of active cooling mechanisms in handheld devices requires chips to support extended temperature ranges, particularly on the high side. Additionally, handheld devices are often used outdoors or left in vehicles and expected to be ready for operation regardless of ambient temperature. Accordingly, QuickLogic has qualified the 8×8 mm BGA package for use in the “industrial temperature range” of -40 to +100 degrees C.

Eclipse II block diagram

The Eclipse II's development board, the “Mobile Application Board” (MAB), is supported on Intel's PXA27x Development Platform, the “Mainstone” DVK. The MAB connects into the VLIO connector of the DVK, allowing designers to make system measurements and architecture tradeoffs including power consumption, performance, and cost, according to QuickLogic.

In addition to drivers for Linux, QuickLogic also supports the Eclipse II's IP blocks with Windows CE drivers.

Price and Availability

Eclipse II products in 8×8 mm packaging are immediately available. Pricing for the QL8150-6PUN196C is expected to be less than $5 in high volume quantities by the end of 2006, according to QuickLogic.

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