SDT.06: Harmonized FPGA Module (HFM)

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Harmonized FPGA Module (HFM) // SDT.06

The Harmonized FPGA Module™ (HFM) Standard Development Team aims at developing a groundbreaking standard tailored for the FPGA and SoC-FPGA System-on-Module. Our mission is to base on the success of the OSM standard for solderable modules applicable to low to mid-range FPGAs and SoC-FPGAs, and to develop a uniform approach to FPGA module design enabling free choice between solderable and connector-based modules, where the later are more relevant to mid- to high-mid-range SoCFPGAs.

The solderable and board-to-board SoM concepts both offer distinct advantages and address different sets of the application requirements. At the same time, both approaches must address many identical design problems and share a lot of design decisions. That makes it justifiable to develop a common (“harmonized”) approach to these issues and to define a core of the SoM standard that will be shared between the two distinct physical implementations (solderable and
connector based). In the overlapping area it is possible and beneficial to have both implementations available.

The HFM approach implies that all the common interfaces of a module are identical between two physical implementations. At the same time, connector -based variant may provide more resources (interface PHYs, memory, etc.) on a module vs. solderable variant. The selection between solderable and connector-based approach depends on logic density, high-speed SERDES speed, No. of IO’s and power requirement. It’s essential to minimize overlap situations between solderable and connector-based approach to strike the right balance between performance and cost-effectiveness.

Solderable Harmonized FPGA Module’s (s.HFM)

Solderable Harmonized FPGA Module’s (s.HFM) focus areas include but not limiting to:

  • Reliability and Security: s.HFM ensures robust, tamper-proof integrity with direct PCB soldering, enhancing reliability and safeguarding against unauthorized access.
  • Improved Signal Integrity: The s.HFM Standard helps minimises signal loss and electromagnetic interference, leading to superior signal performance ideal for FPGA high speed interfaces.
  • Space Efficiency: s.HFM’s compact form factor and low-profile streamline integration, making it an ideal choice for applications with stringent space constraints.
  • Simplified Manufacturing: Solderable modules simplify the manufacturing process, reducing assembly time and costs compared to intricate board-to-board connector setups.

Connector-based Harmonized FPGA Module’s (c.HFM)

Connector-based Harmonized FPGA Module’s (c.HFM) focus areas include but not limiting to:

  • Mid- to high-mid-range FPGA support: c.HFM improves the support for bigger FPGA and SoC-FPGA in several directions. including but not limited to facilitating hardware design by utilizing both sides of the module PCB, providing a more robust and uniform solution for thermal management and mechanical design of the module.
  • Simplifying evaluation, prototyping and stock management by allowing separate stocks of the modules and evaluation boards and freely mix-n-match between them without commitment at assembly time.
  • Cost saving due to possible re-use of a (pricey) module from evaluation system to a target, simplifying baseboard design, reducing NRE cost to design-in complex SoC-FPGA devices.

Through the Harmonized FPGA Module (HFM) initiative, we aspire to foster a collaborative ecosystem where creativity flourishes, costs are optimized, and technological boundaries are transcended. Our mission is to empower the FPGA community to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, flexibility, and scalability, ushering in a new era of possibilities in embedded computing and beyond.

Important Note

Right now, the process of developing a Harmonized FPGA Module standard is ongoing. In order to participate in the development, you will need to be a SGET member.