Panel Topic: Will FPGAs Crack Mobile?

Where and When?: Evening of February 27 at the conference Banquet



Panel Scope/Description:

Recently, the mobile market has started to drive the semiconductor industry, as indicated by the increasing share of the semiconductor ICs purchased by the mobile OEMs. On the other hand, the $5B FPGA industry does not draw a significant portion of its revenue from this market. Part of the reason is that the applications in this market require semiconductor components to have challengingly small power budgets and sizes. At the same time, given the large volumes involved, the component cost is an extremely important factor.

On the flip side, the market is fiercely competitive and is constantly evolving to address emerging usage models and diverse customer expectations. As an example, 1,040 mobile phones were launched in 2012, while 759 models were unveiled from January 1, 2013 to September 15, 2013. At a first glance, these characteristics seem to match the fundamental “field-programmable” value of FPGAs.

What are some of the challenges faced by the OEMs, system designers and ecosystem developers that can potentially be addressed by the FPGAs? What functionality do the FPGAs need to provide to meet these challenges and under what power, size and cost constraints? If FPGAs cannot meet those constraints, then what are some of the alternative choices, if any? Or, are there any research questions that, if answered, can help FPGAs crack mobile?

In this panel, representatives from OEMs, ecosystem solutions providers, FPGA vendors, as well as, the research community will give their views on these questions. Each panelist will give a brief summary of their views, followed by a round of questions from the audience and some friendly debate.