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Microsemi Corporation (MSCC - Analyst Report), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of a broad range of high-reliability and analog/mixed signal integrated circuits has announced the shipment of its SmartFusion2 SoC field programmable gate array (FPGA).

Additionally, the company announced the availability of the SmartFusion2 development kit, which features SmartFusion2 M2S050T-FGG896 SoC FPGA with 56K logic element, 256Kbit eNVM, 1.5Mbit SRAM and additional distributed SRAM in the FPGA fabric; IEEE 1588 and Synchronous Ethernet packet clock network synchronizer; PD70201 PoE; up to 47.7W of power; precision ADC; 512 MB of DDR3 memory on-board, 256 MB for ECC, 16MB of SDRAM; eMMC and 4GB NAND flash memory; SPI flash and 8MB modules.

FPGAs are semiconductor devices that allow programming/reprogramming even after the device has been installed. This flexibility makes the devices more expensive compared to regular programmable logic devices (PLDs), so their use is relatively restricted.

System on Chips or SOCs are integrated circuits that incorporate programmable logic, temperature or power sensing and management plus communication functions into a single, low-power device.

Microsemi had developed its SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA keeping in mind the vital requirements of industry manufacturers -- such as security, power efficiency and speed at the lowest possible cost for each application. Since the introduction of SmartFusion2 in October last year, the device has been widely accepted by customers in the communications, industrial and defense markets where accurate, reliable and flawless results are vital.

The SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA can be used in a wide range of applications such as flight data recorders, weapons systems, defibrillators, handheld radios, communications management systems and industrial motor control. Management stated that early availability of SoC development tools, production-qualified devices and the accompanying development kit will speed up the entire manufacturing process, allowing customers to increase their volumes without any delay.

According to a Research and Markets report, the global FPGA market is poised to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4% from 2011 to 2015 driven by the growing demand for customizable integrated circuits (ICs).

Demand for FPGAs are increasing since they allow increased flexibility when creating designs and enable electronic device manufacturing companies to minimize their research and development (R&D) costs. This can prove to be a long-term growth driver for Microsemi.

Microsemi’s revenues in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $235.3 million, down 5.0% sequentially and 5.6% year over year. However, adjusted earnings per share came in at 32 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents or 6.7%.

Microsemi has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that have been performing well and are worth a look include Magnachip Semiconductor (MX - Snapshot Report), Microchip Technology (MCHP - Analyst Report) and Maxlinear Inc. (MXL - Snapshot Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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