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Powering Wind Energy with Lattice FPGAs to Create a Sustainably Connected World

Powering Wind Energy with Lattice FPGAs to Create a Sustainably Connected World
Posted 08/08/2023 by Matt Dobrodziej, VP of Segment Marketing

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As technology continues to rapidly advance and intersect all parts of our lives, accelerated by the recent exponential growth of AI, more and more energy is needed to power the enabling systems and datacenters. This is resulting in an increase in e-waste and production of carbon dioxide. In fact, servers and cooling systems make up the greatest share of direct electricity usage in U.S. datacenters and are one of the most carbon-intensive aspects of business today.

More and more, companies are looking for ways to embracing sustainability-centric practices across all aspects of their business. To create more sustainable operations, companies are identifying opportunities and solutions to minimize the environmental impact of existing and new infrastructure and technology that will help mitigate energy consumption and reduce e-waste generation.

As the low power programmable leader, sustainability is built into Lattice’s mission and we have a strong and growing portfolio of innovative low power solutions to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals and bring meaningful change to people’s lives.

Lattice FPGAs in Action

Power and size efficiency are core guiding principles for all product innovation at Lattice. This focus enables our more than 9,000 customers around the world to reduce system power consumption and physical footprint, without sacrificing performance.

A great example of Lattice technology being used to create a more sustainably connected world is our collaboration with Bachmann electronic GmbH, a global automation provider for wind and renewable energies, industrial machine building and the maritime industry. Bachmann works with Lattice FPGAs to increase the productivity and longevity of wind farms. Historically, the operation of older wind turbines has been time-consuming and expensive – failures accumulate, spare parts might be unavailable, and unproductive downtime increases. But, with Bachmann’s proven retrofit solution, wind energy producers remain competitive by increasing productivity and extending the service life of the plant.

More specifically, Bachmann utilizes easily customizable Lattice FPGAs as part of their turbine controls retrofit solution for wind turbines. The solution enables turbine owners and operators to increase energy yields while reducing service and maintenance costs and extending the lifespan of their assets. With Lattice FPGAs, Bachmann is retrofitting wind turbines with more durable and customizable solutions and, ultimately, helping to reduce the costs of renewable energy and make clean energy more affordable.

Wind Turbine Clean Energy
Image source: Bachmann electronic GmbH

Designing With Sustainability in Mind

The powerful combination of Lattice’s focus on power efficiency and small package size, coupled with the inherent life-long reprogrammability of FPGAs has the potential to bring an incredible amount of energy and e-waste reduction to future generations of enterprise and consumer technology.

Since all Lattice FPGAs can be reprogrammed in infinite configurations, they can help extend product longevity and create less waste over the product or system’s lifetime. This capability also benefits developers, allowing them to meet evolving technical demands without having to replace the entire product or system, which would then become e-waste. Additionally, Lattice FPGAs can be programmed with adaptive fan algorithms and predictive maintenance capabilities to optimize energy use based on the dynamic needs of the system.

Lattice is a recognized leader in creating sustainable technology, as highlighted by being named a recipient of the 2023 SEAL Sustainability Innovation Award and 2023 Environment + Energy Leader Award for our Lattice Avant™ and Lattice Nexus™ FPGA platforms, both of which are purposefully built with power efficiency as a key design pillar.

The Lattice Avant FPGA platform offers best-in-class power efficiency, advanced connectivity, and optimized compute for a variety of mid-range FPGA applications. Lattice Avant was born out of customer feedback and demand for compelling mid-range FPGA solutions that combine the right features with the right power and size envelopes to help them achieve their design goals. Lattice Avant delivers up to 2.5X better power efficiency, up to 2X faster throughput, and up to 6X smaller package sizes compared to similar class competitive devices. Further, it is estimated that, over a 10-year period, the potential energy savings that could be realized by using Lattice Avant-based FPGAs over other competitive devices of the same class is equivalent to the amount of energy used to power 38,000 households, based on a 30 kilowatt hours/day model.

Lattice Avant

The Lattice Nexus FPGA platform, on the other hand, is the basis of a robust portfolio of small FPGAs that enable developers to operate in either a high-performance mode or a low power mode, ensuring that power and thermal management needs are met in a sustainable way. With the Lattice Nexus platform, developers can program the body bias to favor either high-performance or low power, helping to refine the FPGA to best meet their application’s power consumption and thermal management needs. This not only conserves power in battery-powered Edge devices but can also help reduce high electricity costs associated with industrial and datacenter operations. Lattice estimates that FPGAs manufactured on the Nexus platform will offer power consumption up to 75% lower than competing FPGAs of a similar class.

Building the Future of Sustainable Technology Together

As energy consumption and technological advancement continue to accelerate, now is a pivotal moment to tap into the solutions that will help mitigate the exponential use of power and accumulation of e-waste.

Lattice FPGA solutions power some of the most important technology applications of the next decade and beyond, including AI and machine learning, 5G telecommunications infrastructure, smart cars, industrial automation, robotics, and security. We are committed to working with customers – like Bachmann – to help them reduce power consumption and design more efficiently so that they can reach their sustainability goals without compromising their design and innovation goals.

To find out how Lattice can help you design with sustainability in mind, reach out to speak with our team.