Altera Helps Power the World's Brightest Daylight Displays

7/9/2002 - From the famous Coca-Cola sign in London's Piccadilly Circus to the tours of U2, Bon Jovi, and Jennifer Lopez, BARCO and Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) are delivering the brightest and clearest displays possible at many high-profile advertising locations and thousands of events across the world every day. In an industry that requires consistent clarity and reliability, BARCO applies Altera's programmable logic devices (PLDs) to deliver flexible, interchangeable display systems with light emitting diodes (LEDs).

BARCO selected Altera® PLDs for their high levels of reliability and ruggedness. Every LED color tile is embedded with an Altera PLD to control light output and color, perform color correction, and regulate pulse rate modulation and gamma correction to generate optimum picture quality. The precision daylight displays are built to withstand large temperature ranges and extreme levels of durability as the units are assembled and reassembled by numerous road crews on a concert tour. Altera's ACEX®, FLEX®, and MAX® PLDs are located on the printed circuit board (PCB) of each LED tile and are used to perform the processing and scaling of the picture. BARCO engineers used Altera development software to provide seamless integration with industry-standard design entry, synthesis, and verification tools.

"Altera's ACEX FPGAs provided us with the most value per function compared to other solutions," said Robbie Thielemans, research and development manager, BARCO. "The proper operation of our displays depends on the ability of Altera's devices to operate reliably within a wide temperature range. An ASIC solution was too costly for us."

Altera's PLDs offered BARCO unmatched flexibility and time-to-market in the design phase of their complex daylight display systems. On each LED tile, Altera PLDs are fitted onto a PCB and programmed at a later time. This allows BARCO to simultaneously develop and design the systems without impact on the functionality of the system. The concurrent engineering provided a much faster time-to-market than is expected in the development of such an advanced video system.

"BARCO uses one or more Altera PLDs per LED tile, which allows newer and older tiles to interface and integrate with each other," said Todd Scott, director of the digital consumer business unit at Altera. "This combination of flexibility, low-cost, reliability, and durability provided by Altera products give customers like BARCO the power to bring innovative products to market quickly."

BARCO's customers have an unmatched benefit from Altera's PLDs as the display systems are developed and designed in a way that they offer the customer an upgrade path. With a PLD, a system can be updated continuously to perform at optimum levels. BARCO displays, which are available in both indoor and outdoor versions, can be found around the world including locations such as the 2002 World Championship Ice Hockey Games, Sea World San Antonio, San Francisco Pier 39, Reliant Park Stadium in Houston, and Disneyland Resort in Paris.

BARCO, with headquarters in Kortrijk, Belgium, has three key activities, which are all active in image processing. BarcoProjection is in various markets of large screen visualization. BarcoView develops and manufactures display systems for life critical applications, while BarcoVision is in systems for visual inspection and quality control. In 2001, the entire BARCO group delivered revenue of Euro 792 million. BARCO has a network of subsidiaries, distributors and agents in 97 countries throughout the world. BARCO has been quoted on the Brussels Bourse since 1986, and is now quoted on Brussels/Euronext. BARCO is a BEL 20 and a Next 150 company and is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. BARCO can be found on the web at

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. More information is available at

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. All other product or service names are the property of their respective holder.

Editor Contacts:
Bruce Fienberg
Altera Corporation
(408) 544-6397

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