Digital control improves SoC FPGA efficiency

4th August 2015
Barney Scott

Altera has announced the signing of a licensing agreement with ZMDI, leveraging ZMDI’s digital power management technology to integrate advanced Multi-Mode Digital Control (MMDC) power capabilities into Enpirion PowerSoC devices. A digital power design team will focus on expanding the control, adaptability and power saving features of Enpirion PowerSoCs to improve the power efficiency of Altera FPGAs and SoCs.

The ZMDI digital power technology complements Altera’s existing best-in-class power solutions, which integrate high-frequency power IC technology and advanced magnetics engineering into small form factor packages. Adding MMDC technology into Enpirion PowerSoCs will deliver greater control performance between Altera’s FPGAs and its power management ICs. MMDC-enabled Enpirion devices will be capable of supporting various power modes thereby delivering up to a 30% reduction in FPGA power consumption (static and dynamic).

A team of experienced engineers focused on developing this leading-edge digital power technology will join Altera’s highly skilled research and development team focused on developing advanced power ICs. Dr. Anthony Kelly, formerly ZMDI’s chief system architect, will join Altera and lead the digital power design team.

Mark Davidson, General Manager, Power Business Unit, Altera, added, “Broadening Altera’s highly skilled power management design team with a group of proven digital power experts will enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers. The addition of digital control into our highly integrated power ICs will allow us to better address the power supply demands of high-end FPGAs while delivering increased system-level power savings.”

Enpirion PowerSoCs address the unique power requirements of FPGAs and SoC FPGAs by offering the highest efficiency and best signal integrity at the highest power density in the industry. ZMDI’s digital power technology allows the implementation of multi-objective, heterogeneous control modes while delivering best-in-class transient response in a programmable digital domain. Integrating advanced digital control technology into Enpirion PowerSoCs will enable Altera to create highly innovative power solutions that are optimised to meet the high-performance demands of Altera FPGAs and SoC FPGAs.

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