Actel Extends Reach of its Reprogrammable, Flash-based ProASICPLUS FPGA Family

8/9/2002 - Actel introduced the 75,000-gate APA075, expanding the family to seven devices ranging in density from 75,000 to 1-million system gates. At the new density and sub-$8 price point, the APA075 device enables Actel to provide a suitable price/performance solution to the cost-sensitive, high-volume consumer market. The company also unveiled its FlashLock on-chip security feature, which adds another level of design security to the company's flash-based FPGA devices. In addition, 20 percent performance improvements have been made possible by Actel's design tools, Actel Designer software and Actel Libero integrated design environment. These security and performance improvements allow Actel to target a wider range of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) alternative applications. These include set-top boxes, video games, network and telecom line cards, industrial controls, wireless networking, medical and avionics.

"The industry's acceptance of Actel's flash-based offerings has exceeded our expectations. Since its introduction earlier this year, the ProASICPLUS solution has won an unprecedented number of design wins in multiple market segments, making it the fastest ramping family in Actel's history," said John East, president and chief executive officer at Actel. "And now, with the new APA075 device, FlashLock security feature and 20 percent performance improvement derived from the Actel Designer and Actel Libero tools, we expect that a broader base of the design community will migrate to ProASICPLUS, especially in the cost- sensitive consumer arena."

The Design Security Advantage
As the complexity, capabilities and market share of FPGAs increase so does the need to secure the intellectual property implemented in FPGAs. Nonvolatile flash FPGAs, like Actel's ProASICPLUS family, offer levels of design security beyond conventional SRAM-based FPGAs and ASIC solutions. Actel's ProASICPLUS FPGAs are user programmed with a key, ranging from 79 to 263 bits, that blocks external attempts to read or alter the configuration settings. Built from the ground up to offer enhanced design security, Actel has unveiled its on-chip security mechanism, called FlashLock, that enables designers to lock the design after programming to prevent unauthorized changes. The FlashLock feature can also be used to thwart common security problems faced by designers using conventional SRAM devices, including overbuilding, cloning, reverse engineering and denial of service.

Performance Improvements
Design benchmarks show that the Actel Designer R1-2002 software, announced in June 2002, and Actel Libero integrated design environment deliver an average of 20 percent better performance on ProASICPLUS designs in a variety of customer applications. This improvement was achieved through enhancements to the Quadratic Placer in the Actel Designer offering. Integrated into the Actel Libero integrated design environment or used as a standalone tool suite, the Actel Designer software includes place-and-route, timing analysis and memory generation functionality to accelerate and automate the system design process without forcing the designer to relinquish control.

Actel's second-generation, reprogrammable, flash-based ProASICPLUS FPGA family delivers high performance with system speeds of up to 100MHz and allows designers to seamlessly interface between 3.3- and 2.5-V devices in a mixed-voltage environment. The family contains two advanced clock- conditioning blocks, each consisting of a phase-locked loop (PLL) core, delay lines and clock multiplier/dividers. Additionally, two high-speed LVPECL differential input pairs accommodate clock or data inputs. In- system programmability (ISP) is supported through the IEEE standard 1149.1 JTAG interface. The single-chip, "live-at-power-up" APA075 device includes multiple PLLs and support for up to 27k bits of two-port embedded SRAM and 158 user-configurable I/Os.

Pricing and Availability
Sampling and production of the APA075 is scheduled to begin in Q3 2002. Volume pricing for the new device is expected to be below $8 by Q1 2003 in 100,000 unit quantities. Samples of the initial six ProASICPLUS devices are currently available. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel.

About Actel (
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).

The Actel name and logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Actel Corporation.

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