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Lattice's Miniature Automotive FPGA

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Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC) has recently launched the smallest AEC-Q100-certified Lattice Automotive (:LA) FPGA devices for its ECP3 family.

FPGAs or field programmable gate arrays are semiconductor devices that allow programming/reprogramming even after the device has been installed. This flexibility makes the devices more expensive compared to regular programmable logic devices (PLDs), so their use is relatively restricted.

Lattice has developed its LA-LatticeECP3 FPGA devices keeping in mind the requirements of automobile hardware designers. These devices support SERDES channels for high speed serial data buses. The device also includes on-chip memory, programmable DDR3 memory interfaces and up to 35k look-up tables (:LUTS).

The device allows designers to optimize various driver assistance systems, by bringing in high resolution camera systems to replace wing mirrors, thereby improving fuel efficiency. LA-LatticeECP3 FPGAs will be available in packages as small as 10 mm x 10 mm for $5.99, each in lots of 50K units each. The company is offering 17k LUT and 35k LUT-capacity versions of LA-LatticeECP3 FPGAs in BGA packages ranging from 256 balls to 484 balls.

Demand for FPGAs are increasing since they allow increased flexibility in terms of creating designs and enable electronic device manufacturing companies to minimize their research and development (R&D) costs. The bright prospects in the FPGA space can prove to be a long-term growth driver for Lattice.

Lattice Semiconductor designs, develops and markets high performance programmable logic devices and related development system software. The company’s first quarter revenues were down 0.7% from the year-ago period to $71.2 million. Revenues from FPGAs were also down 1.7% year over year to $22.9 million.

Currently, Lattice has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other semiconductor stocks that have been performing well and are worth considering include Magnachip Semiconductor (MX), Microchip Technology (MCHP) and Maxlinear Inc. (MXL), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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