Pair extend Flash
FPGA codevelopment pact
Actel and Infineon Technologies are to codevelop Flash memory field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions for production in 0.13-micron chip processes
Building on Actel's flash-based ProASIC FPGA family and Infineon's process technology and manufacturing expertise, the development programme will extend the capability of Flash-based FPGA technology in both current and new ASIC alternative market segments, such as smart cards, automotive, industrial controls and mobile communications applications.
Expanding on a 1997 Flash process development and manufacturing agreement between the companies, Actel gains access to a defined wafer manufacturing capacity for high-performance flash FPGA products with Infineon's 0.13-micron embedded Flash production process.
Infineon, meanwhile, gains access to Actel's Flash-based FPGA architectures for use in next-generation product applications, such as chip card IC products.
"Over the last year, we've seen rapid adoption of our ProASIC and ProASIC Plus Flash-based FPGA offerings", said Dr Esmat Hamdy, senior vice president, technology and operations at Actel.
"With this agreement, we believe the powerful combination of Actel's Flash architectures and Infineon's world-class Flash process technology will result in advanced reprogrammable solutions that meet the needs of customers designing next-generation ASIC alternative applications.
Further, our customers will have access to aggressively scaled Flash-based solutions that will continue to meet customer demands as Flash-based FPGA popularity and adoption continues to grow".
"Infineon's leadership position in the chip card market is based on our ability to offer customers the industry's leading-edge with respect to innovation and performance/cost ratio.
Because the technology roadmap goals of both companies are very synergistic, we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Actel, an experienced FPGA supplier", said Dr Hermann Eul, chief executive officer of the Security and Chip Card ICs business group at Infineon.
"Smart card ICs leveraging nonvolatile, Flash-based FPGA functionality will pave the way to new levels of security protection of smart cards.
Using this technology, every card can hold an unique chip".
In chip card applications, scaling down to the 0.13-micron process geometries can accelerate processing of symmetric and asymmetric security algorithms by 50% or more.
Finer process geometries also reduce chip size to about one-third of the area of today's standard chip card ICs.
Further, the addition of Flash programming capability enables previously unattainable security levels.
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