Intel announced that ZTE has selected Intel eASIC devices for its 5G wireless products. ZTE selected Intel eASIC devices to meet the critical cost and power requirements demanded by large-scale 5G deployments.
As 5G rollout moves from the trial phase to initial deployment, carriers need flexible solutions based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). FPGAs provide hardware programmability to meet both prototyping and initial production requirements. As the 5G rollout transitions to high-volume production, FPGAs transition to ASICs to meet cost and power targets associated with high-volume shipments. Intel’s recent acquisition of eASIC enables a smooth transition from FPGA-based designs to structured ASICs.
ZTE used FPGAs for rapid prototyping and early production. The company needed to quickly transition to a lower unit cost and reduced-power solution for high-volume deployment.
A structured ASIC is an intermediary technology between FPGAs and standard-cell ASICs that provides unit-cost reduction and improved power efficiency. Structured ASICs offer benefits like those offered by standard-cell ASICs, but with faster development time. Intel eASIC devices are structured ASICs that provide a smooth design transition from any FPGA. They reduce unit cost and power consumption compared to FPGAs. These two benefits are especially important for high volume-markets, such as 5G radio.
ZTE was able to meet time-to-market requirements using FPGAs for its 5G design, said Intel. The smooth transition to an eASIC structured ASIC device reduces the design’s bill of materials (BOM) cost and power consumption, which is required for high-volume production. The combination of FPGAs and Intel eASIC structured ASICs allows customers to meet diverse time-to-market, flexibility, performance, low-power and unit-cost requirements.
The combination of Intel FPGAs, Intel eASIC devices and Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology will enable a new device class with flexibility, lower unit cost and power efficiency, all in a single package.