France's Menta introduces the "chipless" FPGA

In our continuing search for the "$10,000 Chip" we ran across yet another French company that brings us closer to our goal. Menta S.A.S. based in Montpellier in the south of France has created what might be called a "Chipless" FPGA, a programmable IP core that allows designers to target any design platform, be it a traditional FPGA or an SOC...but you don't have to buy the chip to get to the end of the design, implementation can be decided at the end of the process.

The soft IP core permits a standard RTL flow with design tools.  Designers can modify the design according to their needs on the fly.  A hard macro version of the soft IP can be a drop-in solution for rapid time to market.

But for our purposes, the elimination of the hardware early in the process means you can get to prototype faster and with less cost.  New Tech Press dropped in on the Menta booth at DAC 2012 and chatted with the CEO, Laurent Rouget.

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