High-flying Achronix plans move to ML

June 14, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Sales at FPGA vendor Achronix Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.), are set to leap at least seven-fold in 2017 to exceed $100 million, but despite success the company is planning to "pivot" away from FPGAs to become an application-targeted chip company.

Achronix plans to provide increased support for machine learning architectures such as convolutional neural networks and is also planning to offer a new product line called SpeedChip.

Steve Mensor, vice president of marketing, at Achronix disclosed that Achronix was enjoying an "annus mirabilis" in a briefing. When asked how he could be sure of such numbers with the year less than half-way through said: "We have a hard backlog. This is based on what we've shipped and on orders. Anything more that comes in the second half will just add to that."

Achronix quaterly revenue 2Q16 through 2017. Source: Achronix

Achronix was founded in 2004 and took some time to bring its form of FPGA to market eventually gaining support from Intel as a foundry client on the now relatively mature 22nm FinFET process. However, since being able to ship product with I/O tailored to high-speed networking applications, in its Speedster 22i family it has started to achieve some traction, Mensor said.

And in 2016 it went down a path followed by some other FPGA companies by offering to license various cores of its Speedster FPGAs to SoC builders, under the name Speedcore. However, this offering was ported to the popular 16FF+ 16nm FinFET manufacturing process offered by leading foundry TSMC (see Achronix branches out into FPGA IP with TSMC).

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