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Product category: Design and Development Hardware
News Release from: Actel Europe | Subject: FlashPro3
Edited by the Electronicstalk Editorial Team on 25 January 2005

Programmer aids cost-effective FPGA implementation

Note: A free brochure or catalogue is available from Actel Europe on the products in this news release. Click here to request a copy.

Actel has released a new low-cost device programmer and starter kit to support its new Flash-based ProASIC3 and ProASIC3E field-programmable gate array families

Actel has released a new low-cost device programmer and starter kit to support its new Flash-based ProASIC3 and ProASIC3E field-programmable gate array (FPGA) families. Compatible with the high-speed USB 2.0 specification, the new portable FlashPro3 programmer offers low-cost, full-speed programming for the devices.

Actel's new ProASIC3 Starter Kit allows designers to examine, design and program the nonvolatile ProASIC3/E devices, the industry's lowest-cost FPGA solutions.

Specifically designed to support the single-chip ProASIC3/E devices, the FlashPro3 programmer and ProASIC3 Starter Kit allow exploration of the unique architectural features of the ProASIC3/E devices.

Using these new tools, engineers can examine secure in-system programmability (ISP) using AES encryption.

'With a complete, low-cost hardware support package for our third-generation, Flash-based ProASIC3/E devices, our customers can easily begin creating designs for their cost-sensitive applications', said Saloni Howard-Sarin, Director of Antifuse Products and Tools Marketing at Actel.

'Our new USB 2.0-compliant FlashPro3 programmer will enable Actel's customers to program their ProASIC3 solutions in less than 30 seconds while our new low-cost ProASIC3 Starter Kit will allow users to quickly realise the unique advantages offered by our new nonvolatile FPGAs, including ISP and optimised security features'.

For customer-designed boards that include more than one ProASIC3 device, FlashPro3 can program or test a daisychain of FPGAs using Actel's ChainBuilder software.

Specific FPGAs can also be selected from among other FPGAs in the chain, which may contain both Actel and non-Actel devices, to be programmed individually or automatically in sequence, via a common header attached to the JT chain.

Likewise, several FlashPro3 programmers may be connected to one PC via a high-speed USB hub to allow up to 16 devices or boards to be programmed in parallel, each at full-speed, delivering a substantial reduction in programming time over previous systems.

Additionally, by connecting the programmer to FPGAs already soldered on a board using the industry-standard JT 10-pin interface, FlashPro3 may be used for in-system programming of customer boards.

The FlashPro3 programmer is supported by Actel's FlashPro software.

FlashPro3 supports the Standard Test and Programming Language (STAPL), making the device independent of any specific programming algorithms.

The algorithm is embedded into the programming file, independent of the FlashPro software, enabling the same programming file to be used with other STAPL-compliant programmers.

ProASIC3/E devices are compliant with IEEE1532-based device programming, which uses the IEEE1149 JT standard as the physical protocol.

Because programming data and algorithms are separate in IEEE1532-based programming, one can be modified without affecting the other, thereby easing upgrading.

The ProASIC3 Starter Kit includes everything a designer needs to quickly evaluate, design and program the new ProASIC3/E devices.

The ProASIC3/E Starter Kit consists of an evaluation board with a ProASIC3E device, Actel's Libero Gold 6.1 integrated design environment, the FlashPro3 programmer, USB cable, programming cable, power supply, tutorials and support documentation.

A stand-alone version of the low-cost FlashPro3 programmer is available now for use with Actel's ProASIC3/E devices.

Pricing for the new programmer begins at $125.

The new low-cost ProASIC3 Starter Kit will be available in Q2 2005 for $249. Request a free brochure from Actel Europe....

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