7/1/2002 - Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today launched the new Axcelerator family, the industry's fastest field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions. Built upon the company's new AX architecture and scalable platform also announced today (see related press release titled "Actel Details Breakthrough High-Speed FPGA Architecture"), Actel's Axcelerator family eliminates the performance bottleneck created when FPGAs with traditionally slow internal core architectures are used in high-speed communications and bridging applications. Based on a 0.15-micron, seven-layer metal antifuse process, the Axcelerator family, with devices ranging in density from 125,000 to 2-million system gates, will achieve the highest internal performance in the industry, delivering over 500 MHz operation and up to 100 percent resource utilization.
Until recently, the speed of the internal logic core of most FPGAs has kept up with system performance. However, with performance requirements for communications systems increasing dramatically, FPGAs are often unable to process data through the chip at wireline speeds, forcing the use of heavy pipelining and redundant logic to achieve the required system throughput. Developed to address these system requirements and enable maximum system performance, Actel's antifuse- based Axcelerator family virtually eliminates the need for extensive design optimization techniques required when using traditional SRAM- based FPGAs.
"With high-performance applications, such as 10 G/sec data streams, becoming more prevalent, the internal performance of SRAM-based FPGA solutions requires expensive work-arounds, such as multiple chips, twice the I/O and more exotic packaging," said Barry Marsh, vice president of product marketing at Actel. "At an unprecedented 500 MHz internal performance, Actel's new Axcelerator family clearly has become the standard against which all others will be compared."
With 2-million system gates, the largest device in this five- member family, the AX2000, contains support for up to 339k bits of embedded SRAM; 684 user I/Os; 10,752 dedicated flip flops; eight global clocks and eight phase-locked loops (PLLs).
Key Features of the AX Architecture
Based on Actel's new AX architecture and scalable platform, the Axcelerator family comprises several key architectural advancements. Included among these is an embedded FIFO controller with metastability immune control circuitry that supports high-performance communications design without utilizing general device resources; a fully fracturable SuperCluster that allows high logic module utilization; an embedded 64-bit PerPin FIFO that enables easy interfacing with off-chip resources on different clock domains; a Core Tile structure that provides tighter clock skew across the device; and a flexible clock structure with eight PLLs and eight global clocks available equally across the chip that eliminates the need for clock floorplanning and eases design migration.
To complement Axcelerator's high densities and high performance, Actel has extended its intellectual property (IP) program by porting and optimizing more than 40 cores with additional support for high-performance interfaces available throughout the year. The program includes PCI-X, SPI 4.2, HyperTransport, Gigabit Ethernet, HDLC processors, forward error correction cores, a T1/E1 framer, a CRC generator and an 8-bit/10-bit encoder/decoder.
The Axcelerator family is supported by the Actel Libero 2.2 integrated design environment. The Actel Designer tool suite, which includes place and route, timing analysis and memory generation functionality, also supports the family. Silicon Explorer II, Actel's verification and logic analysis tool, allows designers of Axcelerator devices to test and debug quickly. For programming larger designs with higher memory requirements, Actel offers support through Silicon Sculptor II. Additional support for the family is provided by industry-leading third-party tools from Model Technology, Mentor Graphics, Synplicity, Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys.
A complete evaluation board with an Axcelerator AX1000 or AX2000 device has been developed to enable designers to evaluate the feasibility of design and performance-related claims for Actel's Axcelerator solutions.
Pricing and Availability
The first members of the Axcelerator family, the AX1000 and AX2000, offer 1-million and 2-million equivalent system gates, respectively, and are currently available as engineering samples with production scheduled to begin in Q4 2002. The remaining three devices are expected to be available for sampling by Q4 2002. Pricing for Actel's AX1000 and AX2000 devices begins at $255 and $628 in volume quantities, respectively. Silicon Sculptor II, Silicon Explorer II and a complete Axcelerator evaluation platform are also available. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel.
The statements that the Axcelerator family "will achieve the highest internal performance in the industry," that production for the AX1000 and AX2000 devices is "scheduled to begin in Q4 2002, " and that "the remaining three devices are expected to be available for sampling by Q4 2002" are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those forecast in the forward-looking statement due to the Risk Factors set forth at the end of Part I of Actel's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 6, 2002, including those discussed under the following headings: Competition; Dependence on Customized Manufacturing Processes; and Technological Change and Dependence on New Product Development.
Actel Corporation is a supplier of innovative programmable logic solutions, including field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) based on antifuse and flash technologies, high-performance intellectual property (IP) cores, software development tools and design services targeted for the high-speed communications, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) replacement and radiation-tolerant markets. Founded in 1985, Actel employs approximately 500 people worldwide. The Company is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 955 East Arques Avenue, Sunnyvale, Calif., 94086-4533. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835). Internet: http://www.actel.com
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