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$55 B Market Opportunity: Intel Launches Altera, Its New Standalone FPGA Company

Traditionally, FPGAs have been highly versatile but lacked native AI capabilities. Altera's innovation changes this paradigm by embedding AI functionality directly into the FPGA hardware itself.
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Introduction:

In a groundbreaking move, Intel has officially launched Altera, its standalone FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) company, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of programmable solutions. The announcement came during the FPGA Vision Webcast, where Altera’s Chief Executive Officer Sandra Rivera and Chief Operating Officer Shannon Poulin outlined their bold strategy to secure leadership in a burgeoning market valued at over $55 billion.

“We’ve been largely homogenized inside of the Intel channel structure, particularly building up the distributors and VARs hereIt’s another area of particular focus that we see as nicely accelerated by creating this clear operational separation under (PSG’s) leadership.”

~Pat Gelsinger, CEO, Intel

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Intel Reinvigorating the FPGA Market with Altera

Rivera emphasized Altera’s commitment to reinvigorating the FPGA market by leading with a bold, agile, and customer-centric approach. In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, characterized by increasingly complex challenges, Altera aims to empower customers to differentiate themselves and accelerate time to value.

An FPGA

“As customers deal with increasingly complex technological challenges and work to differentiate themselves from their competitors and accelerate time to value, we have an opportunity to reinvigorate the FPGA market. We’re leading with a bold, agile and customer-obsessed approach to deliver programmable solutions and accessible AI across a broad range of applications in the  comms, cloud, data center, embedded, industrial, automotive and mil-aero market segments.”

–Sandra Rivera, chief executive officer of Altera

Intel Expanding FPGA Portfolio and AI Integration with Altera

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) directly into the fabric of Altera’s FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) represents a groundbreaking advancement in programmable solutions. Traditionally, FPGAs have been highly versatile but lacked native AI capabilities. Altera’s innovation changes this paradigm by embedding AI functionality directly into the FPGA hardware itself.

This integration has several implications:

Enhanced Performance: By embedding AI capabilities into the FPGA fabric, Altera’s solution offers superior performance compared to traditional FPGA architectures. AI algorithms can be executed directly on the FPGA hardware, leveraging its parallel processing capabilities for accelerated inferencing tasks. This results in faster and more efficient execution of AI workloads, making Altera’s FPGA ideal for applications requiring real-time processing and low latency.

Increased Flexibility: The integration of AI into the FPGA fabric enhances the flexibility of the platform. Developers can implement custom AI models and algorithms directly on the FPGA, tailoring them to specific application requirements. This flexibility enables a wide range of use cases across diverse sectors, from communications and cloud computing to industrial automation and automotive applications.

Seamless Integration: Altera’s FPGA with built-in AI simplifies the integration process for developers. The FPGA fabric seamlessly integrates AI functionality, eliminating the need for external AI accelerators or dedicated hardware. This streamlines the development process, reduces system complexity, and minimizes the need for additional components, leading to cost savings and faster time to market.

Expanded Market Opportunities: The integration of AI into Altera’s FPGA opens up new horizons across various industries. From optimizing network traffic in communications infrastructure to enabling intelligent decision-making in autonomous vehicles, the applications are vast and diverse. Industries such as cloud computing, data centers, embedded systems, industrial automation, automotive, and military-aerospace stand to benefit from Altera’s AI-infused FPGA solutions.

Intel Altera Addressing Customer Challenges with Flexible FPGA

Recognizing the mounting challenges faced by customers, Altera’s solutions are tailored to address evolving market demands seamlessly. From networking and communications infrastructure to low-power embedded applications, Altera’s FPGA offerings provide unparalleled flexibility, allowing for swift adaptation to changing requirements.

Key Products and Services

Altera unveiled a range of products and services designed to meet the diverse needs of its customer base:

  1. Agilex 9: Agilex 9 is currently in volume production. It boasts the industry’s fastest data converters, making it perfect for radar and military-aerospace applications needing high-bandwidth mixed-signal FPGAs.
  2. Agilex 7 F-series and I-series devices: Released to production, these devices offer 2x better fabric performance per watt compared to competing FPGAs. They are tailored for high-bandwidth compute applications such as data centers, networking, and defense.
  3. Agilex 5: Agilex 5 is now widely accessible, featuring FPGA fabric infused with AI. It offers best-in-class performance and 1.6x better performance per watt compared to competitors. It targets embedded and edge applications.
  4. Agilex 3: Agilex 3 is on the horizon, offering a low-power line of FPGAs. These will cater to low-complexity tasks in cloud computing, communications, and intelligent edge applications.

Conclusion

Altera aims to lead the FPGA market by prioritizing innovation, customer satisfaction, and AI integration. This commitment establishes Altera as a formidable contender in the realm of programmable solutions.

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