Altera Expands Into Portable Market With Lower Cost, Lower Power MAX II CPLDs

New Ultra-Small Packages Offer 50 Percent Lower Cost and 50 Percent Lower Power Than Competing Devices

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) today announced it has expanded the MAX(R) II device family to address the growing portable applications market. With new ultra-small packages, a new power-down capability and the lowest cost in the industry, MAX II devices offer designers of handheld applications half the cost and power of competing products. Altera(R) MAX II CPLDs meet the small form-factor package and low power capabilities needed by designers of portable systems such as point-to-multipoint (PMP) systems, barcode scanners, PDAs and handheld sensors.


"After evaluating a number of component solutions, we determined that MAX II devices were the best fit for our Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems (MILES)-compatible battery-powered wireless laser sensor," said Mark Chaildin, systems engineer at Intercoastal Electronics. "MAX II devices' low power consumption, short power-up times, density offerings and low cost help us stay competitive in the marketplace."

According to the Gartner Dataquest report entitled "Semiconductor Forecast Worldwide-Forecast Database" by Nolan Reilly and Richard Gordon (May 2006), portable applications use in the consumer market is expected to grow from an estimated $16B in 2006 to $19B by 2008, a CAGR of 9 percent. The new MAX II ultra-small packages and power-down capabilities are targeted at this market and are expected to accelerate the adoption of MAX II devices into portable applications.

Higher Levels of Integration at Lower Cost and Power

The MAX II EPM240, EPM570 and EPM1270 devices are now available in 100-pin and 256-pin 0.5-mm Micro FineLine BGA(R) (MBGA) packages and 100-pin 1.0-mm FineLine BGA (FBGA) package. Using the new MBGA packages, designers can integrate 50 percent more user I/O and logic elements (LEs) for a given board area, on average, than competing CPLD solutions. This makes MAX II CPLDs ideal for applications requiring high I/O count per board area (mm2) to interface with LCD displays, keypads, flash or memory. Designers can further reduce system cost by using the new packages and MAX II devices' differentiating features, including high logic density, an on-chip voltage regulator and an internal oscillator, to integrate discrete devices and minimize the number of power rails.

MAX II CPLDs also offer the lowest dynamic power -- more than 50 percent lower than competing CPLD solutions -- and a power-down capability that conserves battery life. Unlike competing CPLDs, the power characteristics of MAX II devices enable them to power down to eliminate current draw entirely. To learn more about power savings using MAX II CPLDs, visit and

"Designers of portable or battery-powered applications face many of the same challenges that have fueled the programmable industry for the last twenty years, namely shortened schedules, feature uncertainty caused by changing industry standards and cost pressures. With a zero-power mode and package sizes common to this market, portable designers can now benefit from using CPLDs from Altera," said Luanne Schirrmeister, Altera's director of low-cost product marketing.

Read more about the new MAX II enhancements in the "Reduce Total System Cost in Portable Applications Using MAX II CPLDs" white paper, at To learn more about MAX II CPLDs, visit

Pricing and Availability

Production versions of the EPM240 and EPM570 devices in the 100-pin FBGA package are available now. The EPM240 and EPM570 devices in 100-pin MBGA package will be available in August 2006. The EPM570 and EPM1270 devices in 256-pin MBGA packages will be available in September 2006. Volume pricing for the EPM240 M100 is $1.25 in 250,000 unit volumes.

About Altera

Altera's programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Find out more at

Safe Harbor

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are generally preceded by words that imply a future state or that imply that a particular future event or events will occur such as "will." Investors are cautioned that all forward- looking statements in this release involve risks and uncertainty, including without limitation the risk that future performance is dependent on product development schedules, the design performance of software and other tools, as well as the company's and third parties' development technology and manufacture capabilities. Please refer to the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, copies of which are available from the company without charge.

NOTE: Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. All other product or service names are the property of their respective holder.

    Editor Contact:
    Kelly St. Denis
    Altera Corporation
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