Altera Introduces Industry's Lowest Cost Configuration Device Family

10/1/2002 - Altera introduced the industry's lowest-cost configuration devices to complement the new low-cost CycloneTM FPGA family. By developing the industry's lowest cost configuration device family in tandem with the world's lowest cost FPGA device, Altera has created the ideal programmable solution for addressing high-volume applications across a wide range of markets including consumer, communications, computer peripherals, automotive, and industrial.

"Altera's new serial configuration family marks a break with the past, in which programmable logic vendors offered configuration devices that were focused only on density and features," said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing at Altera. "This serial configuration family is the first in the industry that, like Cyclone FPGAs, was designed specifically to minimize cost without compromising key features."

By themselves, Cyclone devices enjoy a 50 percent price advantage over competing FPGAs. The addition of these new serial configuration devices further extends that advantage, giving Altera a 65 percent price advantage over other options for a total FPGA and configuration device solution.

Altera's new serial configuration devices are reprogrammable, greatly extending their value over one-time-programmable configuration devices to provide enhanced functionality at a lower price. They also support in-system programmability (ISP), offering system designers with the flexibility to program devices while they are on the board.

With ISP, Altera users can deliver new functionality and upgrades for their products that are deployed in the field. In addition, the new configuration devices are available in an 8-pin small outline integrated circuit (SOIC) package that consumes as little as 3 percent of the area of the accompanying Cyclone FPGA which minimizes board space and reduces development and manufacturing costs for Altera customers.

"As FPGAs encroach upon the low-end ASIC space, it's important that programmable logic vendors focus on offering an overall low-cost solution," said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst, ASIC products, at iSuppli Corporation. "This is critical for them given recent attempts by some vendors to reintroduce gate arrays at the low-end of the market."

Software Support and Availability
The new serial configuration devices are supported by Altera's Quartus® II development software and are offered in an 8-pin SOIC package. The 1 Mbit EPCS1 and the 4 Mbit EPCS4 devices will be available in production quantities in Q1 2003. Projected volume pricing by the end of 2003 for the EPCS1 is $1.10 for 100K units and for the EPCS4 is $2.50 for 100K units.

About the Cyclone Device Family
Cyclone devices are the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs. With densities ranging from 2,910 to 20,060 logic elements, Cyclone devices feature up to 288 Kbits of embedded memory and are based on a 1.5-V all-layer-copper SRAM process. Cyclone devices offer up to two phase-locked loops (PLLs) per device and a hierarchical clocking structure for extensive on- and off-chip clock management. Each device supports a variety of single-ended I/O standards such as LVTTL, LVCMOS, PCI, and SSTL-2/3. Cyclone devices have dedicated circuitry to interface with high-performance external single data rate (SDR) SDRAM and double data rate (DDR) SDRAM and FCRAM memory devices.

About Altera
Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) is the world's pioneer in system-on-a-programmablechip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide.

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.

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