[Opinion] It’s now Intel FPGA; the Altera Name is no more


Altera really is no more. The FPGA now have a different label on them, Intel. We knew this was coming. The takeover happened, but it’s still somewhat foreign to see the Intel label on an FPGA chip.

This is Intel officially moving away from PCs. The market for consumer products is saturated. It’s hard to stay competitive, offer low prices and make a profit. Manufacturers keep a small profit on every device they sell, so to actually make a substantial yearly profit, they’ll have to sell millions of each flagship device they have on hand. The problem is there are smartphone, tablet, and computer manufacturers all over the world. Most consumer products are designed for a short lifespan. Within six months, the next new thing is here. Apple releases a new iPhone every year or so.

It’s just too troublesome. On the supply side, there’s a new manufacturer looking to compete with you. On the demand side, there’s a fickle consumer. Should I upgrade my phone? But there are so many brands to choose from. No, I’ll get a new PC in two years – this one’s working just fine for now.

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Instead, Intel is turning towards big companies – companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google – all looking to expand their big data servers. These servers need high-end electronic components to power their services, components like Altera’s Intel’s Stratix 10 FPGA. The servers power a lot of things we take for granted – like Google’s image search results, the iCloud, and Facebook’s complex algorithms.

FPGA have a long design cycle – something like six years. Intel’s R&D departments are now working on FPGA which will be released in 2022. A long design cycle usually indicates a long lifespan. High-end FPGA, obsolete FPGA, low-power FPGA – these are all in demand. Everything from Intel’s Stratix 10 to Altera’s past Cyclone series are still being used.

Intel wants to move away from consumer products, not necessarily abandon it. After all, some of the lower-end FPGA are still used in consumer products: to process data, store pictures and videos.

Intel is late coming out with their Stratix 10 chips. But CEO Brian Krzanich promised the Stratix 10 will be out by the end of this year.

Luxe Electronics is an electronic component distributor located in Amesbury, MA. We work with Altera and Xilinx FPGA. If you have a requirement or any excess on hand, let us know.

Visit our website for more information.

Sources used:


The picture was also taken from EEJournal


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