FPGAs provide key to BIOS extension
Dr Kaiser Systemhaus has selected Actel's high-speed, low-power SX-A FPGAs for use in the construction of its Prodasafe, a BIOS extension produced as a PCI-compatible PC plug-in card
The Prodasafe protects the operating system, application programs and configurations from illegal manipulation, alteration and viruses. Actel's secure, nonvolatile 54SX08A FPGA serves as an interface between the boot-PROM and the PCIbus to provide necessary protection functions for the PC. The Prodasafe may be implemented as user security management for internal training centres, Internet cafes, educational computer centres and other shared public terminals.
"We decided to use the Actel SX-A FPGA because of the efficiency, cost savings and design flexibility offered by this solution when compared with other alternatives", commented Andreas Schmidt, Managing Director of Dr Kaiser Systemhaus.
"With the 54SX08A, we can complete a design change simply by modifying the FPGA programming without any financial risk whatsoever, and immediately test the newly programmed modules in the laboratory to correct any errors".
"The Prodasafe BIOS extension developed by Dr Kaiser Systemhaus again demonstrates that FPGAs are being increasingly used as economic alternatives to ASICs and other standard products, and that manufacturers continue to profit from the inherent benefits of our programmable logic devices", said Jon Ewald, Director of Product Marketing for Actel.
"Additionally, for communications, consumer and industrial applications that require levels of design security beyond that provided by either SRAM-based FPGAs or conventional ASICs, Actel's SX-A devices are a great fit".
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