Actel's Board Allow Low-Cost Evaluation of ProASICPLUS FPGAs

8/13/2002 - Actel announced the availability of a low-cost evaluation board for the company's flash-based ProASICPLUS field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The new evaluation board, developed in conjunction with First Silicon Solutions (FS2), allows designers to access the in-system programmability (ISP) feature of Actel's nonvolatile ProASICPLUS devices as well as to explore various chip characteristics, such as I/O drive characteristics, boundary scan operation, embedded RAM block performance and phase-locked loop (PLL) operation. With this new platform, Actel enables designers to quickly and accurately evaluate their own designs to determine suitability for their application- specific integrated circuit (ASIC) alternative applications in the industrial, communications, networking and avionics markets.

"Since its launch in January 2002, we've seen unprecedented success with our ProASICPLUS offerings due to its single-chip, ASIC-like architecture; the inherent security benefits of Actel's flash-based FPGAs; and the ISP capability that enables reprogramming of the devices in the field," said Bryon Moyer, senior director of tools and technical marketing at Actel. "The Actel Libero integrated design environment and Actel Designer software combined with the portable Flash Pro programmer and the new low-cost evaluation board developed with FS2 provide our customers complete support when using Actel's ProASICPLUS family of FPGAs in their communications, industrial and avionics designs."

"We were happy to work closely with Actel to develop the new low-cost evaluation board for ProASICPLUS FPGAs," said Rick Leatherman, president of First Silicon Solutions. "When used with the Flash Pro programmer, customers have an easy way to evaluate Actel's flash-based FPGA technology."

To enable the user to evaluate any ProASICPLUS device, Actel offers a BG456 prototyping socket as part of the evaluation board. Other features include a Zilog eZ80 microcontroller, 2 MB flash RAM, 2 MB SRAM, and an integrated UART. Prototyping headers enable the user to add external components when creating a system that is similar to the user's final product. A standard programming header is also included, allowing the user to program the ProASICPLUS device with either the Flash Pro or Silicon Sculptor programmer from Actel.

About ProASIC Plus
The ProASICPLUS family, Actel's second-generation of flash-based FPGAs, consists of seven devices ranging in density 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 ProASICPLUS offering a strong ASIC alternative. The devices are live at power up, highly secure and require no separate configuration memory, all characteristics shared by ASICs. The ProASICPLUS architecture and design methodology support popular FPGA and ASIC tool flows, reducing time to market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions. Key features of the ProASICPLUS family include multiple phase-locked loops (PLLs), support for up to 198k bits of two-port embedded SRAM and 712 user-configurable I/Os, and improved ISP.

Pricing and Availability
The ProASICPLUS low-cost evaluation board is now available for $950. 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).

About First Silicon Solutions (
FS2 provides silicon IP and design services using On-Chip Instrumentation [OCI®]. This includes custom development tools for programming, testing and debug of FPGA, SoC, ASSP and ASIC devices. FS2 products help silicon vendors and their customers develop and more effectively market their products, reducing their development cycles, and allowing them to focus on delivering all the potential of the system on silicon.

The Actel and ProASICPLUS name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation. OCI is a trademark of First Silicon Solutions.

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