Lattice Leveraging the AI PC Wave?

By Patrick Moorhead - April 2, 2024

The Six Five team discusses Lattice Leveraging the AI PC Wave?

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Patrick Moorhead: Lattice, low power and mid range FPGA company. Did they jump into the AI PC? How? I mean last time I checked, it was like 45 tops or something, or 11 that you needed to have to be in this market?

Daniel Newman: Yeah, so I believe it was it Dell, Pat, one of the companies there was a soft announcement, but there’s some definite powerful connectivity, connective tissue with Lattice SensAI and their low power FPGAs to be able to offer some value in this AI PC space. And this past week, company talked about on a blog, it announced on it’s paid, but it’s bolstering AI PC innovation with FPGA Edge accelerators. And what are they doing on these Edge accelerators? Well, there’s a couple of things. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this kind of SensAI, but one of the big problems with laptops is an always on, always connected PC means always available for hackers to get data, so, security. So one of the things that FPGA can do is have really good understanding of an environment and do things like knowing that I have now stepped away from my machine, I was going to stay away for a while just to make you nervous, and knowing that it needs to turn off the monitor and secure the machine so that someone can’t visually hack or gain access to that machine. That’s something an FPGA can do.

Another thing is, when you’re not on the task or using it, it can create screen brightness in real time. And so it knows you’re not looking, or you’re looking at a different screen so it can turn down the screen giving more power efficiency. And so, these are just a couple of the examples, but the idea that an FPGA can also aggregate sensor data from a number of different sensors across a device and create greater efficiency and performance.

So it was a come down to, Pat, it comes down to one, having some level of flexibility. ASICs are great, for instance, we talk about those a lot, but there is a benefit to having programmability and in the era of the AI PC, there’s lots of these sort of security connectivity, experiential AI, that could benefit from Lattice’s technology, Pat. And so Lattice has won some designs and they seem to be setting themselves up well for this FPGA renaissance that’s going to come along with this high volume, what did you call it, Pat? A super trend. What did you call it? Mega trend?

Patrick Moorhead: What I call it.

Daniel Newman: Hype cycle? Mega cycle? Super cycle? That was the word I was looking for. A super cycle of IPCs that are coming. And with Lattice, it seems to be a great opportunity. Now, this is a company that sells to Dell, sells to Lenovo, works with LG, I believe, Google. So a number of different device makers already partner. I’m not saying they’re all going to be using this straight away, but it seems to me that Lattice is finding a strong way to get the FPGA tied into the AI PC experience. And by the way, bonus topic: Seven Five is back.

Patrick Moorhead: I know. I know. So I’ll call it situational awareness, which is the shoulder surfing. And it’s not just are you there or not? Because you could put a cheap sensor to do that; the question is there a human being behind which can turn on certain functions for security? Can take you to the login screen, it can initiate some novel screen technologies that only allow you to see the content and anybody from the sides cannot. It also can invoke energy saving techniques, which says you walk away, you go to the bathroom, your screen dims. And there’s a lot of ways you can do that. You can do that with an ASIC, you can do that with FPGA, you can do that with a microcontroller. And FPGA is a nice balance because it’s programmable if you change your mind. And of course it’s also time to market.

And then you put the software stack on there, the lower level, and then mirror metrics, you have a turnkey solution. And you rattled off the list of vendors that are currently supported. It’s funny, Dell, Google, Lenovo and LG be like, “Well, wait a second, Google does PC?” No, they do Chromebooks. You’re pretty much running a table with the exception of HP. And Apple does their own thing and they would probably never buy something like this, they’d probably do it themselves. But yeah, kind of went under the radar during CES, but Lenovo Latitudes and Detachable AI PC.

So I’m going to call this here. Lattice is in the AI PC game. And while processor manufacturers are struggling a little bit as the market has dipped, because three years ago during the P, I’m not going to say it, I don’t want to be filtered, that demand went down, but I think I called it on stage at CES; the super cycle is going to begin, it’s going to start in the middle of this year, and then for the next two years, it’s gradually going to get larger to where you could have 75 to 80% of all notebooks, AI PCs, and half of desktops. So PC market is going to cook in the future, for sure, and let’s add in the Windows 10 support that goes away very soon. And those enterprises are going to have to move to Windows 11, and very rarely do they just do an OS upgrade; they do a complete system purchase.

Patrick Moorhead

Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.