Engadget reports Tabula has secured $108 million in funding to help bring its 3PLD ABAX reprogrammable chips to market. These chips promise to make highly-specialized silicon chips a thing of the past, enabling electronics firms to make cheaper products.
Compared to similarly customizable FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), Tabula's chips are cheaper, smaller, and faster. This magic trifecta of attributes could put programmable logic into consumer products like HDTVs and may one day allow for hardware to be updated over the internet the way software is now. However, the immediate promise is being able to use the same chip for multiple purposes across several products. That should drive down costs -- and there's no way to make consumers happier than by slashing prices.