Altera Caps Year of Stellar Engineering Execution with Delivery of First Stratix GX Devices

1/21/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced that the first two StratixTM GX device family members-the EP1SGX25F and the EP1SGX25D-are now sampling to select validation partners. The EP1SGX25F device, with over 25,000 logic elements (LEs), has sixteen 3.125-Gbps full-duplex transceivers, more than any other FPGA currently in customers' hands. In addition, Stratix GX devices incorporate many customer-defined features such as dedicated dynamic phase alignment (DPA) circuitry that simplifies the implementation of complex high-speed communications designs. The Stratix GX device family, Altera's second-generation transceiver product, is built on TSMC's proven 0.13-micron process.

"We have been using Altera's transceiver-based FPGAs since they introduced the industry's first one in 2001," said Jeff Rhodes, business manager, Motorola Computer Group. "The impressive performance of Stratix GX transceivers will enable our MXP platform to deliver even greater bandwidth, and now that we have devices in hand, we look forward to putting them to work in our product."

The shipment of Stratix GX devices caps a 12 month run of near flawless execution on the 0.13-micron process node, starting with the shipment of the APEXTM II EP2A70 device in December 2001. In the past nine months, Altera has delivered an additional 10 new products from three new product families. The unprecedented, rapid rollout of six Stratix devices was immediately followed by the introduction of two members of the low-cost CycloneTM device family and two members of the Stratix GX transceiver family. In total, the company is currently shipping 20 products manufactured using TSMC's all-copper process.

"The ability to complete more than 10 complex designs successfully the first time using 0.13-micron and copper is a great story today, especially in light of the fact many in the industry are still struggling to get their hands around this process node," said Richard Wawrzyniak, senior analyst, ASIC/SoC at Semico Research Corporation. "This speaks highly of Altera's design teams, its mastery of the technology, and the very close relationship Altera has with its foundry, TSMC. This bodes well for Altera's customers in the future as more innovative products will become possible as Altera moves to the 90-nanometer (nm) process at TSMC."

Only FPGA Vendor Delivering Production Products on 0.13-micron Process
Having fully qualified TSMC's 0.13-micron, all-layer-copper process, Altera is shipping production devices of the Stratix device family, the industry's fastest FPGAs, to hundreds of customers around the world. With this important milestone, Altera is credited with being the only FPGA vendor shipping production devices manufactured on the 0.13-micron process node. François Gregoire, Altera's vice president of technology, states, "There is much to be gained by partnering with a single, independent, reliable, quality-driven foundry partner such as TSMC. Its proven track record on the 0.13-micron process has allowed us to focus on our core competency, delivering the most advanced FPGAs to customers who need to get products out the door now. Our competition, meanwhile, is still trying to qualify its 0.13-micron copper process and has been unable so far to deliver in volume."

TSMC and Altera also have a development partnership at the 90-nm node and have been working on the technology for the past 18 months. Two test chips have taped out and another three are imminent. "It is through solid partnerships with customers like Altera that enables us to stay at the forefront of the industry," said Gendu Hu, vice president of corporate marketing at TSMC. "We believe we currently have the best yielding 0.13-micron process in the world, and Altera has been instrumental in helping debug the process. Similar efforts are underway at the 90-nm node."

Stratix GX Device Availability
Altera will continue to work with its validation partners during the first quarter of 2003 to thoroughly characterize Stratix GX device functionality in supporting 10Gb Ethernet XAUI, SONET/SDH backplane, SPI 4.2 (with hard DPA), and SDI SD/HD applications. General production availability is planned for Q2, 2003.

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.

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