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Microchip: Riding RISC-V All the Way to New FPGA Platform

Five years after acquiring Microsemi, Microchip faces a bigger question: How can it advance FPGA architecture against competitors without diluting the legacy of an inherited technology?
NASA chooses Microchip
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has selected Microchip Technology Inc. to develop a high-performance spaceflight computing processor that will support future space missions. (Image: NASA)

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By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
RISC-V’s open-standard instruction set architecture has already proven an effective underlying technology for designers seeking differentiated microcontrollers/microprocessors. Will RISC-V find a new home in FPGAs? Microchip believes it has the answer.

Microchip is enjoying a market resurgence for its FPGA products.

Originally developed by Actel Corp., later acquired by Microsemi (October 2010), and now owned by Microchip (May 2018), the peripatetic FPGA is known for its immunity to single event upsets and for military-grade reliability. Those attributes have opened opportunities for Microchip’s FPGAs in avionics, military, and medical electronics markets.

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