It’s been two years since Intel announced plans to take over Altera FPGA. How has the deal fared out? Initially, there were reports of friction between the two companies. Learning to coordinate and getting up-to-speed on projects would certainly take some time. Given these administrative issues, it makes sense to allow the company some leeway. Besides, in October 2016, Intel came out with the Stratix 10 range, the first major release following the takeover.
But that was the only headline grabber for the past two years. Meanwhile, Xilinx has been partnering with major companies, promoting and pushing its FPGA chips into their hardware systems.
A few months ago, Amazon AWS announced their plans integrate Xilinx Ultrascale + into its cloud-based services.
Xlinx has already partnered with ARM Holdings and TSMC to develop its range of 7nm FPGA chips. Xilinx will be the first to enter the market with 7nm chips and will easily gain the majority market share.
Last October, Intel worked with TSMC to develop the 14nm Stratix 10 range. The 14nm chips are more efficient than Xilinx’s 16nm chips, but Xilinx had the advantage of already being in the market for over an year. Customers were more familiar with the Xilinx 16nm chip and chose to remain loyal to the company. It was another blow for Intel.
Nimbix’s Xilinx SDAccel development environment, JARVICE, is already available as a platform for FPGA developers to test and debug applications.
Xilinx has also been supplying FPGA to Baidu. Baidu will be using the FPGA to power machine learning in its search engine.
We hope Intel has more projects in the works for 2017. Intel already has plans to develop the 10nm FPGA chips in late 2017.
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