Dr. Kaiser Systemhaus Selects Actel FPGAs for BIOS Extension

1/29/2003 - Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) announced that Dr. Kaiser Systemhaus has selected the company's high-speed, low-power SX-A field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for use in the construction of its PRODASAFE, a BIOS extension produced as a PCI-compatible personal computer (PC) plug-in card. The PRODASAFE protects the operating system (OS), application programs and configurations from illegal manipulation, alteration and viruses. Actel's secure, nonvolatile 54SX08A FPGA serves as an interface between the boot-PROM and the PCI bus to provide necessary protection functions for the PC. The PRODASAFE may be implemented as user security management for internal training centers, Internet cafes, educational computer centers and other shared public terminals.

"We decided to use the Actel SX-A FPGA because of the efficiency, cost savings and design flexibility offered by this solution when compared with other alternatives," commented Andreas Schmidt, managing director of Dr. Kaiser Systemhaus. "With the 54SX08A, we can complete a design change simply by modifying the FPGA programming without any financial risk whatsoever, and immediately test the newly programmed modules in the laboratory to correct any errors."

"The PRODASAFE BIOS extension developed by Dr. Kaiser Systemhaus again demonstrates that FPGAs are being increasingly used as economic alternatives to ASICs and other standard products, and that manufacturers continue to profit from the inherent benefits of our programmable logic devices," said Jon Ewald, director of product marketing for Actel. "Additionally, for communications, consumer and industrial applications that require levels of design security beyond that provided by either SRAM-based FPGAs or conventional ASICs, Actel's SX-A devices are a great fit."

The PRODASAFE is a BIOS extension produced as a PCI-compatible PC plug-in card that protects the OS, application programs and configurations from illegal manipulation and viruses. The PRODASAFE solution is live at power up, maintaining configuration and eliminating the need for boot up from floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Because it becomes operative before the OS or other software is loaded, the possibility of by-passing the PRODASAFE with BIOS reconfiguration via traditional software protection solutions is eliminated. The PRODASAFE is suitable for internal training centers, Internet cafes and educational computer centers.

About the SX-A Family
Introduced in September 1999, the SX-A family offers a fine-grained antifuse architecture similar to a masked gate array, providing a high-performance, low-cost solution for communications, consumer and industrial applications. In addition, the SX-A family offers I/O capabilities that provide full support for hot swapping. With devices up to 108,000 system gates and speeds up to 250 MHz system performance, the SX-A family is also 66 MHz PCI compliant.

About 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). Internet: http://www.actel.com.

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

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