Intel Rebrands its FPGA Business Altera in an Awesome Branding Move

Altera An Intel Company Cover
Altera An Intel Company Cover

We are not kidding with this one. Today, the official name of Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group was announced, and it is spot-on perfection. Altera, an Intel company, is set to start operating as an independent company with the goal of spinning it out in the future. That brings one of the most challenging questions in this, which is what to call it. Along with the announcement, the company also updated its FPGA portfolio and roadmap.

Intel Rebrands its FPGA Business Altera in an Awesome Branding Move

At a dinner last year, Sandra Rivera, the new head of Altera, asked what it should be called. I said, given the lifespan of the products and the fact that a considerable number of its FPGAs still say Altera, it should just be called Altera again. I am reasonably certain I had zero influence on the process, but it seems like Intel followed a similar logic. Many folks in the industry still call Intel’s FPGA business Altera and AMD’s FPGA business Xilinx since both companies had positive brand values.

Altrea Innovation 1983 To 2024
Altera Innovation 1983 To 2024

Although it did not make it to the chart above, Intel completed the acquisition of Altera in December 2015. In 2023, it announced that it would be re-establishing a standalone FPGA business with the intent to IPO it.

Today, Altera is establishing the product lines that it will own from the Intel portfolio and its roadmap.

Altrea By Intel Portfolio Q1 2024
Altera By Intel Portfolio Q1 2024

In the process, it is discussing its AI solutions. Some folks are still asking on a pre-brief call asking if FPGAs will become go-to AI training tools. That may have been a thought years ago, but that ship is down the GPU and ASIC path now. Still, running AI inference in addition to the I/O of a FPGA can be useful. If you think of products with 15-year lifecycles that can be deployed for two decades, it is easy to imagine how an AI inference model may change over that timeframe.

Altrea By Intel Portfolio Q1 2024 2
Altera By Intel Portfolio Q1 2024 2

As part of the product activities, Altera gave an update on its products.

Altrea Agilex Portfolio Announcements
Altera Agilex Portfolio Announcements

We have some cool accompanying product shots, such as an Altera Agilex 7 FPGA.

Agilex7 AGI027 R29A Top
Altera Agilex7 AGI027 R29A Top

We also spotted an Agilex 5 modular devkit board.

Intel Agilex® 5 FPGA E Series 065B Modular Development Kit
Intel Agilex® 5 FPGA E Series 065B Modular Development Kit

As part of the announcement, Altera started with a verticals, applications, trends, and solutions slide that maps some headline opportunities to its products.

Altrea FPGA Use Cases
Altera FPGA Use Cases

These are a bit higher-end applications than in some places where FPGAs are found, where they provide fan control and make lights blink.

Altrea FPGA Use Cases 2
Altera FPGA Use Cases 2

In my consulting days, I feel like I made a lot of slides like the above, but they are essential to re-establish Altera as an independent brand and entity.

Final Words

Overall, this feels a bit mixed. Intel is paring back its silicon portfolio to fund the Intel Foundry capital expenditures. At the same time, it likely lets Altera be more Agile(x?) in the future. We asked, and Altera will still be allowed to source tiles from Intel Foundry, TSMC, Samsung, and others as it can today as it prepares to spin, so Intel Foundry will have to earn its business for new chips.


  1. Comparing the recent headlines “Intel Rebrands its FPGA Business Altera in an Awesome Branding Move” with “AMD EPYC Bergamo Has Massive Consolidation Benefits” I find it difficult to determine which headline is enthusiasm and which satire. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

    For example, coupled with news that Amazon, Cloudflare and possibly others have recently extended the life of their existing servers, maybe CPUs with the matrix accelerators needed for AI inference would be more useful compared to ones that consolidate rack space.

  2. But they used a lowercase “a” this time! The consulting company only charged them $10M for that re-branding.


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