It's taken a few years, but Intel has finally started sampling to customers its Stratix 10, the industry's first 14-nanometer field programmable array (FPGA). This is something chip designer Altera tapped Intel to do back in 2013, though it hit delays along the way. Nevertheless, when Intel acquired Altera last year for $16.7 billion, it assured clients and investors that Altera's ARM-based chips would still be developed going forward.
Well, here we are. Stratix 10 meshes Intel's 14nm tri-gate process technology with a new architecture called HyperFlex. It features an embedded quad-core 64-bit ARM processor (Cortex-A53), 5.5-million logic elements, and second generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) memory in a single package.
Intel's making some lofty performance claims with Stratix 10. According to Intel, Stratix 10 delivers twice the core performance and five times the density of previous generation products. It offers up to 10 TFLOPS of single-precision floating point DSP performance and has four stacks of on-die HBM2 memory pumping 1TB/s of bandwidth to ensure a steady flow of data to the FPGA chip.
"We live in a smart and connected world where billions of devices are creating massive amounts of data that must be collected, rapidly processed and analyzed, and available from anywhere. With Stratix 10 FPGAs, Intel is enabling service providers, data centers, cloud computing and storage systems to satisfy their insatiable demand for higher computational capabilities, lower latency, greater system flexibility and increased power efficiencies," Intel said.
That's Intel's big play here. FPGAs are typically used in data centers, the need for which is only growing with the Internet of Things (IoT) bring more and more devices online. Cisco predicts that by 2020, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network each second, while the number of devices connected to IP networks will grow to three times the global population in the same time frame.
Intel's positioning itself for such a future with Stratix 10, which delivers the necessary performance gains while consuming up to 70 percent less power. The next step for Intel will be to transition from its sampling phase and into mass production.