8/9/2002 - Actel and Infineon Technologies have entered into a cooperation to develop flash memory field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions for production in 0.13-micron chip processes. Building on Actel's flash-based ProASIC FPGA family and Infineon's process technology and manufacturing expertise, the development program will extend the capability of flash-based FPGA technology in both current and new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) alternative market segments, such as smart cards, automotive, industrial controls and mobile communications applications.
Expanding on a 1997 flash process development and manufacturing agreement between the companies, Actel gains access to a defined wafer manufacturing capacity for high-performance flash FPGA products with Infineon's 0.13-micron embedded flash production process. Infineon, meanwhile, gains access to Actel's flash-based FPGA architectures for use in next-generation product applications, such as chip card IC products.
"Over the last year, we've seen rapid adoption of our ProASIC and ProASICPLUS flash-based FPGA offerings," said Dr. Esmat Hamdy, senior vice president, technology and operations at Actel. "With this agreement, we believe the powerful combination of Actel's flash architectures and Infineon's world-class flash process technology will result in advanced reprogrammable solutions that meet the needs of customers designing next-generation ASIC alternative applications. Further, our customers will have access to aggressively scaled flash- based solutions that will continue to meet customer demands as flash- based FPGA popularity and adoption continues to grow."
"Infineon's leadership position in the chip card market is based on our ability to offer customers the industry's leading-edge with respect to innovation and performance/cost ratio. Because the technology roadmap goals of both companies are very synergistic, we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Actel, an experienced FPGA supplier," said Dr. Hermann Eul, chief executive officer of the Security & Chip Card ICs business group at Infineon. "Smart card ICs leveraging nonvolatile, flash-based FPGA functionality will pave the way to new levels of security protection of smart cards. Using this technology, every card can hold an unique chip."
In chip card applications, scaling down to the 0.13-micron process geometries can accelerate processing of symmetric and asymmetric security algorithms by 50 percent or more. Finer process geometries also reduce chip size to about one-third of the area of today's standard chip card ICs. Further, the addition of flash programming capability enables previously unattainable security levels.
About Actel's ProASIC Solutions
Actel's ProASIC family, consisting of the ProASIC 500K and ProASICPLUS solutions, ranges in size from 75,000 to 1-million system gates. The combination of a fine-grained, ASIC-like architecture and nonvolatile flash configuration memory makes Actel's ProASIC offerings strong ASIC alternatives. The devices are live at power up and require no separate configuration memory, characteristics shared by ASICs. Further, Actel's ProASIC devices offer levels of design security beyond both SRAM-based FPGAs and conventional ASIC solutions. The ProASIC architectures and design methodologies support popular FPGA and ASIC tool flows, reducing time to market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions.
About Infineon's Embedded Flash Technology
Infineon's development of 0.13-micron embedded flash represents the third generation of flash process technology development by the company. Infineon started its flash activities in 1994, when it developed an embedded flash process technology with 0.7-micron structure width for specific use in automotive applications. In 2000, manufacturing of products in the company's 0.25-micron eFlash technology node began. Furthermore, Infineon possesses more than a decade of experience in development and manufacturing of EEPROM solutions.
About Actel (www.actel.com)
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).
About Infineon (www.infineon.com)
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX).
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