Cyclone Devices - Industry’s Lowest-Cost FPGA Family - Shipping Ahead of Schedule

1/21/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced that the first two CycloneTM device family members, the EP1C20 and EP1C6, are now shipping to customers several weeks ahead of schedule. Originally slated to ship in the first quarter of 2003, both devices began shipping in December as engineering samples, with production device availability targeted for March. As the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs, the Cyclone device family is providing designers of high-volume systems with all the benefits of a programmable logic solution at ASIC prices.

"Altera's quick rollout of Cyclone devices allows us to accelerate development of our next-generation, stand-alone digital video recorder," said Sei-Hyun Baik, senior manager at Samsung Electronics. "As the lowest-cost FPGAs available, Cyclone devices will provide tremendous costs savings to us and our customers."

"Our company had not used programmable logic before, but the Cyclone family convinced us that we could achieve a high degree of design flexibility at the lowest possible cost," said Gary Pace, principal engineer, Oilfield Electric Marine. "Even though it's a new product, Altera's successful track record of shipping Stratix devices demonstrated to us that they could deliver Cyclone devices in a short amount of time, and the fact that we now have them in hand proves that we made the right decision."

With only 15 months from conception to shipment, the development of the Cyclone device family is the fastest in Altera's history. "Built on the same 1.5-V, 0.13-micron process as the StratixTM device family, the Cyclone device family will ramp quickly into high-volume, addressing the demand we have seen since the family was announced last September," said Steve Mensor, senior director of product marketing at Altera. "We have plenty of units available today to meet and service our customers' requirements."

Thanks to the maturity of the 0.13-micron, all-copper production process with foundry partner TSMC, Altera plans to ship more than 25,000 Cyclone devices to distributors within the first quarter. Altera is currently working on more than 500 design engagements among the accounts being tracked, and many more among its broad base of customers.

Cyclone devices, priced as low as $1.50 per 1,000 logic elements (LEs) in volume quantities, now offer price points on par with ASICs without the NRE (non-recurring engineering) charges and without the extended development period. Cyclone devices are a compelling alternative to ASICs for consumer, automotive, industrial, and other high-volume, cost-sensitive applications.

"Designers of high-volume, cost-sensitive applications need the flexibility of an FPGA to help them cope with shorter end-product life-cycles and increasing pressure to beat their competitors to the market place," said Tim Colleran, Altera's vice president of product marketing. "Coupled with the Nios® soft-core embedded processor, the Cyclone device family can also offer designers a low-cost microcontroller solution."

Pricing and Availability
Engineering samples of the EP1C6 and EP1C20 are available today with production device availability scheduled for late March. The EP1C3 and EP1C12 members of the Cyclone device family are scheduled to go straight to production by the second quarter. Thanks to Altera's vertical migration strategy, designers can lay out their boards for any of the Cyclone devices and use the EP1C20 and EP1C6 devices until the EP1C3 or EP1C12 devices are available. With Quartus® II design software support available since September and the successful rollout of the first Cyclone devices, system designers can now ramp their volume applications today using the lowest-cost FPGA products available on the market today. Cyclone device pricing ranges from $4 to $40 per unit for high volumes of the EP1C3 and EP1C20, respectively.

About the Cyclone Device Family
Cyclone devices are the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs. With densities ranging from 2,910 to 20,060 logic elements, Cyclone devices feature up to 288 Kbits of embedded memory and are based on a 1.5-V, all-layer-copper SRAM process. Cyclone devices offer up to two phase-locked loops (PLLs) per device and a hierarchical clocking structure for extensive on- and off-chip clock management. Each device supports a variety of single-ended I/O standards such as LVTTL, LVCMOS, PCI, and SSTL-2/3 and differential I/O technology supporting LVDS signaling for data rates up to 311 Mbps. Cyclone devices have dedicated circuitry to interface with high-performance external single data rate (SDR) SDRAM and double data rate (DDR) SDRAM and FCRAM memory devices. For more information about the Cyclone device family, visit

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.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: