Unlocking New Possibilities in System Development, Actel Ships World's First Mixed-Signal FPGA
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Unlocking New Possibilities in System Development, Actel Ships World's First Mixed-Signal FPGA

Unprecedented Integration of Analog Peripherals, Flash Memory and FPGA Fabric in a Monolithic Programmable System Chip Redefines How Products Are Designed

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Satisfying a strong demand from system architects for a device that simplifies design and unleashes their creativity, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced the immediate availability of the Actel Fusion(TM) Programmable System Chip (PSC), the world's first mixed-signal FPGA (field programmable gate array) family. By integrating mixed-signal analog, flash memory and FPGA fabric in a monolithic PSC, the Actel Fusion devices enable designers to quickly move from concept to completed design and deliver feature-rich systems to market. The Actel Fusion PSCs bring the benefits of programmable logic to application areas, including power management, smart battery charging, clock generation and management and motor control, that until now have only been served by either costly and space-consuming discrete analog components or mixed-signal ASIC solutions.

The Actel Fusion PSCs present new capabilities for system development by allowing designers to integrate a wide range of functionality into a single device while at the same time offering the flexibility of upgrades in the field or deep in the production cycle. The Actel Fusion devices provide an excellent alternative to costly and time-consuming mixed-signal ASIC design. In addition, when used in conjunction with Actel's ARM7 and 8051-based soft MCU cores, the Actel Fusion technology represents the definitive PSC platform.

"With the Actel Fusion PSC we are removing the handcuffs from system architects and allowing them to focus on adding unique features and enhancing end-product value," said John East, president and CEO of Actel. "Designers will be able to treat the Fusion PSCs like a mixed-signal ASIC without all the ASIC penalties of long design cycles and high costs."

To support these new devices and help maximize designer productivity, Actel has developed a comprehensive design environment that includes software tools, intellectual property (IP) and reference designs. (See related press release issued today, "Actel Design Environment Enables Fast, Easy Implementation of World's First Mixed-Signal FPGA.")

The Ultimate Programmable System Chip

The Actel Fusion devices integrate a configurable 12-bit successive approximation register (SAR) analog to digital converter (ADC) with frequencies up to 600 ksps. The flexible analog block supports MOSFET gate driver output and multiple analog inputs from -12 volts to up to +12 volts with optional prescaler, thus enabling direct connection and control of a wide variety of analog systems such as a voltage, differential current or temperature monitor.

The Actel Fusion PSC family is the only programmable logic solution to include embedded flash memory -- up to 1 Mbyte per device. The flash memory offers 60-nanosecond random access and a very fast 100MHz access in read-ahead mode. The high performance flash memory offers a user-configurable data bus supporting x8, x16 and x32 bit widths. The memory also offers error correction circuitry (ECC) with single-bit error fix and two-bit error-detect capabilities. The Pseudo EEPROM can be achieved with endurance extender IP available from Actel. Further, the Actel Fusion PSCs give designers unprecedented levels of flexibility by allowing them to easily reconfigure analog block settings to perform widely different functions by simply downloading data from embedded flash memory.

Actel's Fusion PSCs extend the core benefits of the company's flash FPGA technology -- live at power-up (LAPU), single chip, firm-error immunity and low total system cost -- to the world's only mixed-signal FPGAs. The new Actel Fusion PSCs deliver the core analog blocks required for applications in the industrial, medical, military/aerospace, communications, consumer and automotive markets.

For power-sensitive applications, the Actel Fusion PSCs offer ultra low-power sleep and stand-by modes and are specifically designed to handle Level 0 LAPU system supervisory activities, such as system board power-up sequencing and configuration.

Enabling Technology Behind Fusion Innovation

The Actel Fusion technology and devices enable designers to design at both very high and very low levels of abstraction. Fusion peripherals include hard analog IP and hard and/or soft digital IP. Peripherals communicate across the FPGA fabric via a layer of soft gates -- the Smart Backbone. Much more than a bus interface, the Smart Backbone integrates a micro-sequencer within the FPGA fabric and will configure the individual peripherals and support low-level processing of peripheral data.

Pricing and Availability

The Actel Fusion PSC family includes four devices of varying gate densities, levels of embedded flash and analog channels. Actel's AFS600 Fusion PSCs are available immediately. Pricing for the Fusion PSC family of products start below $5.00 each in 250K quantities. Starter kits, reference designs and software tools are also available now. For more information on pricing and availability, contact your local sales representative.

About Actel

Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit http://www.actel.com . Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).

NOTE: The Actel name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Clive Jones of Actel Corporation, +1-650-318-4523, or
Email Contact; or Starlayne Meza of Porter Novelli,
+1-408-369-4600, ext. 629, or Email Contact, for Actel

Web site: http://www.actel.com/