Microsemi FPGA P1 anyone?

Heater.Heater. Posts: 20,361
edited March 3 in Propeller 1 Vote Up0Vote Down
It occurred to me a while ago that there is a major FPGA vendor that never gets a mention here, Microsemi.

Surfing around for RISC V related things recently things I notice Microsemi has this nice little dev board:

That board seems to be a bit short of I/O pins for a P1 or anything else I want to do.

But it got me wondering if anyone here had experience of Microsemi FPGA.

Is there some reason they don't get mentioned anywhere where Altera and Xilinx (and even Lattice) things are discussed?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • jmgjmg Posts: 10,898
    Heater. wrote: »
    It occurred to me a while ago that there is a major FPGA vendor that never gets a mention here, Microsemi.
    They will soon be Microchip-FPGA's :)
    At the low end, I've looked at their QFN48 parts, as they are the other vendor besides Lattice that offer that package.
    Lattice tend to win on stock and price, and I see Lattice quietly expand their QFN48 lineup to cover 1,2,4,5k parts.

    I wonder what Microchip will do with the RISC-V work ? - will they see that as a risk to PIC sales, as being a pathway to other vendors RISC V MCUs ?

  • I've looked many time into Microsemi FPGAs, but could not find any interesting part. The cheap, small ones have no internal RAMs or very little, and the better ones are much too expensive.

    The FPGA on the board you linked is comparable to the ECP5-25 on the FleaOhm board in LUTs and RAM. But the costs are 5 times higher.
    Maybe the prices will drop when Microchip owns Microsemi.

  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 20,361
    edited March 3 Vote Up0Vote Down
    They will soon be Microchip-FPGA's
    Wow, that is news hot off the presses I had not seen yet.

    I thought Microsemi's ideas about the RISC V were quite simple.

    Vendors like Altera and Xilinx provide soft core processor IP for their FPGA's. Nios and MicroBlaze respectively.

    Why? Because if you are going to design a pile of custom logic you are still probably going to want a processor to run "normal" software to manage it. If you can squeeze a soft core CPU into your design you are good to go.

    I don't know if Microsemi had such a soft core already but it makes sense to provide a RISC V in there rather than invent and support your own weird CPU architecture.

    I don't see any of this being any kind of risk to PIC sales. PICs are tiny and very cheap. FPGAs are big and expensive. Very different market segments.

    Mind you, perhaps if Microsemi's RISC V developers have a good solution perhaps we might one day see a real hard silicon RISC V microcontroller from Microchip!

    What a strange world this is.

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