Top 10 FPGA Manufacturers in the World

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have revolutionized the world of electronics and embedded systems. As FPGA adoption grows exponentially year after year, a thriving ecosystem of manufacturers has emerged to meet demand.

It’s an industry marked by innovation, high-tech capabilities, and constant jockeying for market position between longstanding giants, rising Asian firms, and scrappy upstarts.

Besides ranking the top 10 Best FPGA manufacturers, we will explore deeper into the changes reshaping the programmable logic landscape. And several key factors look certain to catalyze even faster disruption on the horizon.

What is an FPGA?

Unlike rigidly fixed chips, field-programmable gate arrays empower designers by keeping functionality flexible. FPGAs fuse reconfigurable hardware building blocks with programmable connectivity that together enable custom logic circuits without fabrication.

FPGAs provide logical Lego pieces spanning basic gates like AND and OR to memory blocks. By interlocking these varied chunks in flexible ways, developers architect specialized hardware behaviors using software flows adapted to morph with changing needs.

FPGA Manufacturers

FPGA Manufacturers

That’s why FPGA logic and routing can be reconfigured anytime, even dynamically during operation.

FPGA configuration starts with architects using Verilog or VHDL to define custom circuits:

  • specifying functional blocks
  • stitching together critical paths, and
  • mapping I/O.

High-level synthesis tools then compile these HDL blueprints to generate optimized logic fabrics. Tapping into intelligent automation, the compiler handles intricacies like latch timing, clock tree insertion, and routing to ensure hardware implementations match intent.

This process condenses the meticulously laid out hardware architecture into a compact bitstream file reflecting interconnectivity in binary patterns. Flashing this programming to the physical FPGA transforms endless matrices of fixed logic cells and wire traces into an application for data flows designed precisely for the purpose.

Recompiling the HDL source produces an updated bitstream to push as needs change. So developers design circuits through code rather than physical construction, while synthesis engines handle materializing elegant silicon from concepts.

Together, abstract language descriptions manually refined to specs coupled with automated compilation steps unlock the promise of reconfigurable hardware, all without having to etch new masks for each design revision.

Modern FPGAs contain anywhere from tens of thousands to over a million logic elements. Their flexible parallel processing makes them faster for many applications compared to sequential execution on microcontrollers.

The use of FPGA  is increasing day by day. It has seen its use in telecommunications, automotive systems, aerospace and defense, and consumer electronics.  FPGA is beneficial in the prototyping stages of digital circuit design. It lets the manufacturers alter functionality.

History of FPGA Manufacturers

FPGAs burst onto the electronics scene in 1985 when a small startup called Xilinx sold its first commercial programmable logic device. Before this groundbreaking product, designing custom integrated circuit substrates was an expensive and time-consuming process requiring months of fabrication.

FPGAs allowed engineers to prototype and revise logic designs quickly in the lab without costly silicon changes. This flexibility sparked a revolution in complex digital circuit design.

Seeing the promise of the technology, by 1987, Xilinx competitors were hot on their heels. Competing startups like Altera and Actel raced to release their own FPGA product lines catering to different design needs.

Within a decade, programmable logic revenue exceeded $500 million annually across just a handful of suppliers as FPGAs became essential for product development.

As revenue grew into the billions by 2000, exponential increases in gate densities followed—doubling every 18 months. With the capacity to integrate entire systems on a chip, FPGAs attracted new embedded computing players.

Seeing a threat to their dominance, giants like Intel and Samsung entered the ring in the early 2000s through mergers and acquisitions. Other silicon vendors followed, leading to oversaturation and a period of consolidation back down to 5 major suppliers today.

Now firmly established, modern FPGAs represent a $9.7 billion industry as said by MarketsandMarkets, projected to double by 2028. Xilinx and Intel Altera still lead with about half of the total market share.

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, Quicklogic Corporation, and Achronix Semiconductor Corporation make up most of the remaining vendors. In just 40 short years, FPGAs have permeated nearly every sphere of digital electronics thanks to scrappy pioneering startups.

The flexible reconfigurability of FPGA introduced now drives innovation in everything from 5G infrastructure to AI acceleration.

Top 10 FPGA Manufacturers in the World

With an abundance of FPGA manufacturers to choose from, selecting the right supplier for your next design can be challenging. However, a few industry-leading vendors stand out from the crowded field thanks to their extensive experience.

These are the top 10 FPGA Manufacturers.

Xilinx (AMD)

The undisputed leader in programmable logic, Xilinx invented the first FPGA in 1985. They maintain over 50% market share today after being acquired by AMD for $35 billion in 2020.

With headquarters in San Jose, CA, and over 4,000 patents, Xilinx remains at the forefront of semiconductor fabrication and FPGA innovation.

Xilinx (AMD)

Xilinx (AMD)

Key product families like Versal ACAP, Virtex UltraScale+, and Zynq cater to the aerospace, networking, 5G telecom, automotive, and defense industries demanding maximum performance and programmability.

Please visit the website: https://www.xilinx.com/

Intel

We all know Intel is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world. Altera was acquired by Intel. This was the landmark of their entering in FPGA market in 2015. This $16.7 billion acquisition significantly expanded Intel’s presence in data centers, wireless, and embedded applications.

Intel

Intel

With Altera’s 30 years of innovation, the merged entity has become a formidable FPGA powerhouse, competing head-to-head with its biggest rival, Xilinx. Intel FPGAs will continue pushing the boundaries of programmable logic for the future.

Please visit the website: https://www.intel.com/

Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology is a leading manufacturer of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog, and Flash-IP integrated circuits. Founded in 1987, Microchip develops affordable, low-power, and low-voltage microcontrollers (MCUs) and specialized chips for automotive, communications, computing, consumer, and industrial applications.

Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology is now offering space-grade radiation-hardened FPGAs alongside commercial midrange PolarFire SoC, IGLOO 2, and SmartFusion2 types. Microchip aims to simplify programmable logic through ease of use plus strong development tools suiting aerospace and defense applications.

Please visit the website: https://www.microchip.com/

Lattice Semiconductor

Known for value-focused FPGAs, Oregon-based Lattice licenses semiconductor tech from parent company Canyon Bridge.

Lattice Semiconductor

Lattice Semiconductor

Leveraging programmable solutions ideal for the IoT edge, key low-power Lattice products include the Certus-NX general-purpose FPGA. They also feature Mach machine learning software and sensAI edge AI stack integrating sensor and vision functions.

Lattice caters to 5G, networking, industrial/automotive, and computing with an emphasis on easy-to-use, adapt-on-demand programmable logic.

Please visit the website: https://www.latticesemi.com/

QuickLogic

Headquartered in San Jose, QuickLogic differentiates through ArcticPro embedded FPGA IP, enabling AI at the edge for power-constrained IoT devices.

QuickLogic

QuickLogic

Alongside their mature multi-core EOS S3 sensor processing SoCs, QuickLogic architected the QuickFeather development kit to accelerate the prototyping of Open Hardware products.

With over 350 patents granted, QuickLogic targets hearables/wearables, IoT endpoints, and battery-powered embedded vision systems requiring ML locally.

Please visit the website: https://www.quicklogic.com/

Efinix

The newcomer Efinix traces back to a 2012 University of Toronto spinout that aimed to modernize FPGAs for lower costs and easier programming. Truly innovative, Efinix leverages quantum well technology for reconfigurable fabric.

Efinix

Efinix

This lets their Trinity, Cassini, and Rigel families implement low-power logic supporting 6G applications in under 3 weeks from RTL all while hosting Arm cores for flexibility. Efinix suits rapid prototypes of smart data center hardware, networking, artificial intelligence, and aerospace/automotive projects.

Please visit the website: https://www.efinixinc.com/

Microsemi Corporation

Microsemi made waves by acquiring Actel’s anti-fuse FPGAs plus gaining defense contractor Vitesse. Now part of Microchip, Microsemi offers military temp range FPGAs like Igloo2 and SmartFusion2 containing ARM cores ideal for aerospace and weapons systems.

Microsemi Corporation

Microsemi Corporation

They also provide hybrid FPGAs meeting ITAR regulations for export-controlled defense products.

Please visit the website: https://www.microsemi.com/

Flex Logix

Headquartered in Mountain View, Flex Logix burst onto the scene in 2014 to pioneer inferencing acceleration in edge data centers using their EFLX eFPGA IP. With extremely high throughput, Flex Logix focuses solely on embedded FPGA cores rather than standalone chips.

Please visit the website: https://flex-logix.com/

Flex Logix

Flex Logix

Achronix Semiconductor

Founded in 2004, Achronix adopted an unconventional FPGA approach using an asynchronous architecture. Their external memory bandwidth achieves up to 3X higher system throughput at 7.5 Tbps.

Achronix Semiconductor

Achronix Semiconductor

Speed Focus 22nm and 16nm FinFET products target workloads like AI, data analytics, genomics, and edge network infrastructure. In 2021, Achronix received a $350 million investment from Intel Capital furthering Intel’s ecosystem presence in data center acceleration.

Please visit the website: https://www.achronix.com/

Silexica

Founded in 2014, German startup Silexica provides unique FPGA design tools rather than manufacturing hardware directly.

Silexica

Silexica

Their SLX FPGA toolchain dramatically eases programming through high-level synthesis, letting software developers reuse code across hardware platforms. SLX allows FPGA targeting without nitty-gritty VHDL/Verilog expertise.

It is proven over 10X productivity gains through a unified abstraction Architecture model used across the workflow from C/C++ to bitstream generation. Recognized with multiple industry awards and backed by $100 million in funding, Silexica embodies the future of FPGA development.

Please visit the website: https://www.amd.com/

How Can You Select the Best FPGA Manufacturers?

When looking to select an FPGA vendor for your next design or product line, there are several important criteria to consider. A systematic approach to evaluating the various FPGA manufacturers will help ensure you end up with the optimal solution.

Application Fit

One of the first aspects to evaluate is the application fit. Review the key parameters of the applications you intend to deploy with these FPGAs, whether it’s for communications infrastructure, motor control, aerospace and defense products, AI acceleration, or other use cases.

Toolchain & Support

Pinpoint development tools that best support your software stack and design team’s existing skills. Prioritize sufficient educational resources plus responsive technical support.

Availability & Lifecycle

Choose a vendor that offers ample stock without unpredictable shortages so production scaling remains feasible. Ensure available lifecycle management and migration paths for long-term projects.

Technology Roadmap

Select a manufacturer actively pushing new process nodes and innovation in keeping with your product advancement plans so emerging requirements get met through upcoming FPGA generations.

Reliability Reputation

For markets like automotive, aerospace, and defense with strict safety certifications, partner with trusted vendors boasting extensive qualification testing and compliance expertise.

Purchase Programs

Leverage volume discounts, discounted prototyping rates, and other purchase incentives to control project budgets, especially during research stages when requirements still shift.

While niche players can provide tailored advantages, bigger FPGA manufacturers like Xilinx, Intel Altera, and Microchip Technology offer one-stop shops with cutting-edge IP portfolios, task-optimized designs, and application-specific products that simplify embedding programmable logic in demanding systems. Rely on initial scoping plus feedback from their engineering teams to make the FPGA choice that balances project needs across parameters. The right supplier partnership lays the foundation for FPGA success.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are the Major Players in the FPGA Manufacturing Market?

Xilinx, Intel, and Microchip Technology are some of the major players in the FPGA market. Other notable players are Lattice Semiconductor, QuickLogic, Efinix, Microsemi Corporation, Flex Logix, and Achronix Semiconductor.

2. What Are the Latest Trends in FPGA Technology?

Low power, security, 3D, DSP, embedded processors, and advanced interfaces like PCIe Gen 4 are some latest innovations in FPGAs for AI, ADAS, 5G, and cloud applications.

3. What Are Key FPGA Architecture Differences?

While all FPGAs consist of configurable logic blocks and routing, vendors have proprietary architectures that differ in components like block RAM, DSP slices, clocking, I/O count, and hard processor cores.

4. What Are the Main FPGA Software Tools?

Major FPGA manufacturers offer robust development environments like Xilinx’s Vivado and SDx, Intel’s Quartus Prime, and Microsemi’s Libero for programming, simulation, verification, timing analysis, power optimization, and debugging FPGA designs.

Conclusion

There are several credible FPGA vendors to evaluate for your next design. With Xilinx and Intel commanding the majority of the market, particularly for high-density, high-performance applications.

Carefully weigh factors like the right combination of logic fabric, toolchain quality, and purchase programs should be carefully when you are selecting the best FPGA vendor.

Narrow your choices to 2-3 promising FPGA manufacturers through comparison of benchmarking evaluations. Partnering with the right FPGA supplier will enable innovation and accelerated time-to-market for your products.

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