Flash FPGAs gun for
ASICs with million-gate device
ProASIC Plus is Actel's second-generation family of Flash-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)
Based on a 0.22-micron process, Actel's new single-chip, in-system- programmable ProASIC Plus family will consist of six devices ranging in density from 150,000 to 1 million system gates. The combination of a fine-grained, ASIC-like architecture and nonvolatile Flash configuration memory makes ProASIC Plus offering a strong ASIC alternative.
The devices are live at power up, highly secure and require no separate configuration memory, all characteristics shared by ASICs.
The ProASIC Plus architecture supports popular ASIC tool flows, reducing time to market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions.
Additional new features include multiple phase-locked loops, support for up to 198Kbit of two-port embedded SRAM and 712 user-configurable I/Os, and improved in-system programmability.
ProASIC Plus devices deliver high performance with system speeds of up to 100MHz and allow designers to seamlessly interface between 3.3 and 2.5V devices in a mixed-voltage environment.
The ProASIC Plus family contains two advanced clock-conditioning blocks, each consisting of a PLL core, delay lines and clock multiplier/dividers.
Additionally, two high-speed LVPECL differential input pairs accommodate clock or data inputs.
The ProASIC Plus family is supported by Actel's Designer software, which includes place-and-route, timing analysis and memory generation functionality.
Targeting both ASIC and FPGA environments, the devices are also supported by third-party design tools from Cadence, Exemplar, Model Technology, Synopsys and Synplicity.
Because the ProASIC Plus devices work equally well with ASIC and FPGA design methodologies, designers can create high-density systems using existing tools and flows.
ProASIC Plus devices offer levels of design security beyond SRAM-based FPGAs and conventional ASIC solutions, enabling an entirely new business model for intellectual property providers.
ProASIC Plus FPGAs are user programmed with a multibit key that blocks external attempts to read or alter the configuration settings.
Decapping and stripping of the ProASIC Plus device reveals only the structure of the Flash cell, not the contents.
Actel also offers a low-risk, cost-effective conversion path from Actel's nonvolatile, single-chip ProASIC Plus FPGAs to ASICs when volumes warrant it.
The ASIC-like architecture and design methodology facilitate ASIC migration, minimising time to market, system cost and the risks typically associated with conversions.
The FPGA-to-ASIC program is well suited to high-volume applications in the industrial and communications markets.
The first members of the ProASIC Plus family, the APA750 and APA1000, offer 750,000 and 1 million system gates, respectively, and are currently available as engineering samples with production scheduled to begin in Q2 2002.
A portable programmer and complete demonstration platform are also available.
(This was Electronicstalk's Top Story on 9 January 2002).
(This was Electronicstalk's Top Story on 9 January 2002) Request a free brochure from Actel Europe....
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