Low-power FPGAs offer high security for connected machines

3rd October 2017
Mick Elliott

The PolarFire FPGAs from Microsemi are now in stock at Solid State Supplies. PolarFire is a low power cost-optimised FPGA that offers a significant reduction in power over equivalent SRAM FPGAs while addressing specific market needs. The architecture and process optimised PolarFire FPGA family offers between 100k and 500k logic elements (LEs) while high performance 12.7Gbps transceivers deliver small physical size and requires around 50% less power than competing mid-range FPGAs.


Additionally, PolarFire's 28nm non-volatile CMOS process ensures that static power requirements are about 1/10 of those found in competing devices.

Beyond this, a low power Flash*Freeze mode yields best-in-class standby power. 

Alongside the high-speed serial connectivity and huge LE count, PolarFire offers up to 33 Mbits of RAM, up to 1480 18x18 multiply accumulate blocks with hardened pre-adders, integrated dual PCIe, high speed I/O (HSIO) supporting 1600 Mbps DDR4 and general purpose I/O (GPIO) for serial gigabit Ethernet. 

In defence applications, PolarFire provides high bandwidth radio and image signal processing as well as delivering best-in-class anti-tamper and data security capabilities making them ideal for secure embedded systems, secure communications, guidance, radar, aircraft data networking, avionics and more. 

Today's communication networks have to deliver terabytes of high value content. PolarFire FPGAs facilitate this through cost-effective bandwidth processing capabilities for wireless access and wireless backhaul as well as smart optical modules and video broadcast.  

In smart factories, PolarFire offers Industry 4.0 designers a small physical footprint for an FPGA that has numerous 3.3v I/Os and the necessary packet-based interfaces. 

The FPGA’s built in Athena crypto graphic processor can implement numerous encryption/decryption protocols and it features DPA countermeasures.

Once the cryptographic processor is configured, it requires no additional FPGA resources to implement true data security communications, making this device ideal for Root of Trust. 

Designers adopting the PolarFire FPGAs will find them easy to use due to the comprehensive, easy-to-learn and easy-to-adopt Libero SoC design suite and the in-built SmartDebug features.

A high-performance evaluation kit for full development and testing is also available.

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