Intel Editorial: Intel to Acquire eASIC Adding to Its Programmable Solutions Talent and Capabilities

The following is an opinion editorial provided by Dan McNamara of Intel

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Dan McNamara (left), corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group, stands with eASIC CEO, Ronnie Vasishta, outside Intel Corporation headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Intel on Thursday, July 12, 2018, announced plans to acquire custom chipmaker eASIC. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel is competing to win in the largest-ever addressable market for
silicon, which is being driven by the explosion of data and the need to
process, analyze, store and share it. This dynamic is fueling demand for
computing solutions of all kinds. Of course Intel is known for
world-class CPUs, but today we offer a broader range of custom computing
solutions to help customers tackle all kinds of workloads – in the
cloud, over the network and at the edge. In recent years, Intel has
expanded its products and introduced breakthrough innovations in memory,
modems, purpose-built ASICs, vision processing units and field
programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

FPGAs are experiencing expanding adoption due to their versatility and
real-time performance. These devices can be programmed anytime – even
after equipment has been shipped to customers. FPGAs contain a mixture
of logic, memory and digital signal processing blocks that can implement
any desired function with extremely high throughput and very low
latency. This makes FPGAs ideal for many critical cloud and edge
applications, and Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group revenue has grown
double digits as customers use FPGAs to accelerate artificial
intelligence, among other applications.

More: Programmable
Solutions Group News

Customers designing for high-performance, power-constrained applications
in market segments like wireless, networking and the internet of things
(IoT) sometimes begin deployments with FPGAs for fast time-to-market and
flexibility. They then migrate to devices called structured ASICs, which
can be used to optimize performance and power-efficiency. A structured
ASIC is an intermediary technology between FPGAs and ASICs. It offers
performance and power-efficiency closer to a standard-cell ASIC, but
with the faster design time and at a fraction of the non-recurring
engineering costs associated with ASICs.

Today, I’m excited to announce that Intel plans to expand its
programmable solutions portfolio to include structured ASICs by
acquiring eASIC®,
a leading structured ASICs provider headquartered in Santa Clara,
California. eASIC has a proven, 19-year success record, leading products
and a world-class team, which will join Intel’s Programmable Solutions
Group. The addition of eASIC will help us meet customers’ diverse needs
of time-to-market, features, performance, cost, power and product life

This combination brings together the best-in-class technologies from
both companies to provide customers with more choice, faster
time-to-market and lower development costs. Specifically, having a
structured ASICs offering will help us better address high-performance
and power-constrained applications that we see many of our customers
challenged with in market segments like 4G and 5G wireless, networking
and IoT. We can also provide a low-cost, automated conversion process
from FPGAs (including competing FPGAs) to structured ASICs.

Longer term, we see an opportunity to architect a new class of
programmable chip that takes advantage of Intel’s
Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology to combine
Intel FPGAs with structured ASICs in a system in package solution.
Together with partners and customers, Intel and eASIC expect to deliver
industry-leading solutions.

We expect to complete the acquisition in the third quarter of 2018 after
customary closing conditions are met. We look forward to serving eASIC’s
current customers and to offering Intel customers a new solution for
unlocking the power of data.

(Dan) McNamara is corporate vice president and general
manager of the Programmable Solutions Group at Intel Corporation.

About Intel

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