Altium provides ideal FPGA design system for development of radio astronomy devices
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – April 19, 2005 – At an event held today at the University of Tasmania, Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), a leading developer of Windows-based electronics design software, announced one of the largest corporate sponsorships to date for the School of Mathematics and Physics with the donation of cash, software, hardware, and support to the value of $158,000 to the University of Tasmania Foundation. The donation, to be distributed over a three year period, is for the development and completion of two projects – a radio transient detector and high-bandwidth interferometer both relating to advanced radio astronomy research being undertaken at the School of Mathematics and Physics.
"Today's announcement demonstrates Altium's ongoing commitment to supporting and equipping the next-generation of electronic designers and engineers," said Nick Martin, founder and CEO, Altium. "Altium's electronic product development solutions are perfectly suited to meet the design challenges demanded by the School of Mathematics and Physics in their development of advanced applications for radio astronomy using FPGA technology."
The donation, presented to the university by David Warren, non-executive director, Altium, includes a substantial cash contribution, Altium’s Unified Nexar-Protel 2004 software, Altium’s NanoBoard hardware development platforms plus matching interchangeable FPGA daughterboards, dedicated technical support and training. Nexar’s unique ‘LiveDesign’ methodology for embedded system-level design on an FPGA platform with its ability to download designs directly to the NanoBoard for immediate implementation and testing is particularly relevant to the projects.
“The nature of computations required in the projects results in immense data analysis tasks,” said Larry Forbes, head of school in mathematics and physics, University of Tasmania. “Both projects need to crunch data in real-time, but the technology up until now has not been available. It was Altium’s industry-leading FPGA technology that met our needs. Altium’s ‘LiveDesign’ methodology provides the ability to interact with circuitry in real-time before actually building devices. Furthermore, Altium’s technology is easy to use -- it can be fully utilized without the need for advanced FPGA design skills and frees up time for our professors to concentrate on their core competencies.”
The radio transient detector project, led by Professor John Dickey, involves the search to identify transient, giant bursts (pulses) of radio energy. There are numerous sources of pulses in the sky like collapsed stars and cosmic rays, so by using the radio telescope located at the university, the detector will enhance the ability for researchers to find those sources and detect the pulses. The high-bandwidth interferometer project, led by Professor Peter McCulloch, will enable the professor and his team to prove that a class of variable radio sources are giant black holes at the centres of distant galaxies. The interferometer (linking two telescopes to use as one) will bring signals from two antennas and combine them in different ways. Professor McCulloch and his team will use this data to monitor the variable sources that are suspected of being giant black holes.
“Previously, such projects involving immense data analysis were tackled using mathematical tools and traditional code based methods. Now, by using the FPGA capabilities of Altium’s technology, we can tailor the device to the precise needs of the job and complete the process more efficiently without having to make a lot of simulations,” explained Professor Forbes. “We can interactively design complex custom circuits using FPGAs that are specifically tailored to our application. Altium is the only technology provider in the industry that provides the necessary tools to make this happen.”
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 www.altium.com.
About the University of Tasmania
The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is the fourth oldest university in Australia, established in 1890. A statewide institution, it has three main campuses in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie. It employs approximately 2,500 academic and general staff and has a student population of around 16,000 which includes approximately 2,000 postgraduates and 2,200 international students. UTAS ranks in the top ten research universities in Australia and has an enviable reputation in several distinctive areas of research and teaching. An international university working out of Tasmania, the international profile of UTAS is well established and continues to grow. There are students enrolled from more than 60 countries and a range of offshore programs held in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. As the State's only university, UTAS also plays a special role in serving the State’s educational needs as well as to advancing its cultural, economic and social interests. UTAS offers a diverse range of courses through six Faculties - Arts, Education, Health Sciences, Commerce, Law, Science, Engineering and Technology.
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