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Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC - Snapshot Report) has recently launched iCE40 LP384, its smallest field programmable gate array (FPGA).

FPGAs or field programmable gate arrays 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.

Lattice has developed its ultra-low density FPGA by keeping in mind the requirements of hardware designers, which are faster data processing speeds at lower power. The Lattice solution not only offers power and cost advantages over ASSPs, but also includes reference designs and application notes that speed up the entire development process including the time to market.

The iCE40 LP384 FPGA can be used in a wide range of applications, such as portable medical monitors, smartphones, digital cameras, eReaders and compact embedded systems. It will be available in packages as small as 2.5 mm x 2.5 mm with a migration path to 2.0 mm x 2.0 mm and at prices less than 50 cents per unit in multi-million unit quantities.

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 in terms of creating designs and enable electronic device manufacturing companies to minimize their research and development (R&D) costs. The bright prospects in the FPGA space can prove to be a long-term growth driver for Lattice.

Lattice Semiconductor designs, develops and markets high performance programmable logic devices and related development system software. The company’s fourth quarter revenues were down 6.1% from the year-ago period to $70.2 million due to lower PLD revenues. Revenues for FPGA were also down 5.4% year over year to $20.9 million.

Currently, Lattice has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other semiconductor stocks that have been performing well and are worth considering include Intersil Corporation (ISIL - Snapshot Report), KLA-Tencor (KLAC - Analyst Report) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Analyst Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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