Altium adds Verilog HDL support to Nexar

HDL design capabilities of Altium's universal design capture platform expanded

SYDNEY, Australia - November 9, 2004 - Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), a leading developer of Windows-based electronics design software, today announced that it will be expanding the HDL capabilities of it's Nexar FPGA-based digital design system with the introduction of support for Verilog. The upcoming Service Pack 2 for Altium's DXP 2004 design systems, which includes updates for Nexar and the Protel board-level design system, will add syntax-aware code editing, parsing and compilation support for Verilog to Altium's feature-rich design capture system. This will allow engineers to use any combination of block diagram, VHDL and Verilog to capture circuit hardware for FPGA implementation.

At this stage, engineers wishing to process Verilog designs through HDL simulation and synthesis will need third-party simulation and synthesis engines, as the inbuilt DXP 2004 engines currently support VHDL only. This is easily done within the DXP platform, which provides transparent interfacing to the ModelSim® and ActiveHDL™ simulators and Synplicity®, Xilinx® XST and Altera® Quartus® synthesis engines. When an external engine is selected, full Verilog design flows can be carried out within the DXP 2004 environment. Altium plans to upgrade its DXP synthesis and simulation engines with full Verilog support in subsequent service packs.

The addition of Verilog support to Nexar will expand the design system's reach into existing FPGA markets, and allow all FPGA designers access to Nexar's unique environment for FPGA-based systems development. Nexar allows the interactive development of complete systems, including processor-based designs, on an FPGA platform. The Nexar design methodology - LiveDesign - enables real-time communication with active devices in the circuit, such as processor cores and virtual instruments, that are running inside the target FPGA. Along with Altium's NanoBoard, a versatile FPGA development board that features swappable target devices housed on removable daughter boards, Nexar allows interactive, 'live' development and debugging of systems without the need for simulation at the system level, significantly reducing system development time.

"The addition of Verilog strengthens Nexar's position as a universal design system for FPGA-based systems development," said Nick Martin, Altium's founder and Joint CEO. "The system is device and FPGA vendor-independent, and now offers complete freedom in the choice of capture language."

Pricing and availability
Support for Verilog in Nexar will be available from December 1, 2004 with the release of Service Pack 2, and will be included in new Nexar licences at no extra cost.

Nexar is priced at US$7,995 for a new licence. A Unified Nexar-Protel 2004 software license is also available, providing complete FPGA-PCB systems development, and is priced at US$9,995. Protel 2004 users can upgrade their existing license to this system from US$2,995.

Altium's NanoBoard is priced at US$995 and is currently delivered with two daughter boards included - the Xilinx® Spartan®-IIE 300 and the Altera® Cyclone™ 12. A wide range of additional daughter boards are also available.

For developers wanting to evaluate Nexar, LiveDesign Evaluation Kits are now available and prices start from US$49.

For more information, visit or contact your local Altium sales and support center.

About Altium Limited
Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) is a global developer and supplier of electronics design software for the Microsoft Windows environment. Founded in 1985, Altium released the world's first Microsoft Windows-based printed circuit board design tool in 1991 and continues to provide advanced, easy-to-use and affordable software design tools to electronics engineers, designers, and developers worldwide. Altium's products offer tailored solutions covering a range of hardware and software design processes including the Nexar, Protel, P-CAD and TASKING brands. Altium is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and has sales and support offices in Australia, the United States, Japan, Europe and China. More information is available at

Altium, CAMtastic, CircuitStudio, Design Explorer, DXP, LiveDesign, NanoBoard, NanoTalk, Nexar, nVisage, P-CAD, Protel, Situs, TASKING, and Topological Autorouting and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited or its subsidiaries. "ActiveHDL" is a trademark of Aldec Inc., "ModelSim" is a registered trademark of Mentor Graphics Corp,, "Synplicity" is a registered trademark of Synplicity, Inc., "Altera" and "Cyclone" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altera Corporation, and "Xilinx", "Quartus", and "Spartan" are registered trademarks of Xilinx, Inc. All other registered or unregistered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners, and no trademark rights to the same are claimed.

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