Altera Reduces Long-Term Costs with Cyclone Devices and Royalty-Free IP

10/2/2002 - As ASIC production costs continue to rise, Altera eliminates a significant portion of chip development with the new CycloneTM FPGA device family and royalty-free intellectual property (IP). With the Cyclone device family, combined with newly optimized IP MegaCore® functions for Cyclone devices, designers can eliminate design expenses and focus on bringing products to market faster.

Altera's portfolio of royalty-free IP gives system designers cost-effective system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions without the burden of recurring post-production costs. In addition, the growing practice of implementing reusable IP blocks in an IC design reduces time-to-market.

"Altera is offering a strong value proposition with its royalty free, perpetual licensing scheme," said Cary Snyder, chip industry analyst. "This licensing program helps designers minimize the per unit cost over the life of their designs, as well as eliminating the time-consuming IP licensing negotiation process."

Snyder noted that royalty cost issues are becoming more important, citing an April 2002 Gartner Dataquest report that chip makers paid more than $195 million last year in intellectual property royalties, up over 18 percent from the year 2000.

For the first time, Cyclone devices-the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs, deliver a flexible alternative over custom or standard products for implementing system-level designs for volume driven applications in consumer, communications, industrial, and automotive markets.

Cyclone devices and royalty-free Altera IP can be used in high-volume applications like Internet appliances and printers that require network connectivity through RS-232, Ethernet, or USB. Designers of set-top box applications for high-definition television and MPEG video processing can access large amounts of fast external memory through Cyclone device-optimized SDRAM memory controllers. In addition, companies that develop high-end DVD players now have a low-cost programmable option for IDE and PCI interfaces with the Cyclone devices.

"Using Cyclone devices and Altera's reusable, perpetually-licensed IP delivers a compelling cost/performance solution when compared to off-the-shelf ASSPs or custom ASIC designs," said Justin Cowling, director of marketing for Altera's intellectual property business unit.

Pricing and Availability
More than 30 Cyclone device-optimized intellectual property functions are available now. List pricing for a perpetual, royalty free, node locked encrypted license for use in Altera FPGAs ranges from $495 to $12,995. For more information and a complete list of Altera's MegaCore logic functions and Altera Megafunction Partner Program (AMPPSM) intellectual property functions, visit the Altera IP MegaStoreTM web site.

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-programmable-chip (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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