Altera and Micron Unveil DDR400 SDRAM DIMM Interface for FPGAs

11/4/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Micron Technology, Inc., (NYSE: MU) announced the industry’s first 400 Mbps double data rate (DDR) SDRAM dual in-line memory module (DIMM) interface for FPGAs. Proven with Altera’s StratixTM and Stratix GX high-performance FPGAs and Micron’s DDR400 SDRAM DIMMs, this 400-Mbps interface speed enables the implementation of memory interfaces with bandwidths up to 25.6 Gbps, facilitating the high data transfer rates demanded by advanced networking, communications, storage, and server systems.

“Micron understands the importance of enabling customers with various tools and resources for high-speed system designs taking advantage of emerging memory technologies,” said Deb Matus, Micron’s product marketing manager for networking and communications. “We are focusing not only on developing advanced memory technology, but also on ways to help our customers implement our new high-performance memory products. Rigorous testing was performed on the interface of our DDR SDRAM-based DIMMs with Altera’s Stratix and Stratix GX devices. The Altera devices achieved the maximum desired performance of 400 Mbps in each of these operating scenarios, demonstrating their ability to deliver the robust memory interfaces demanded by today’s high-end systems.”

FPGAs are increasingly used to interface with DDR SDRAMs in a wide variety of applications. Designers often face a number of challenges in building memory interfaces because of the requirement to shift the DQS signal by 90 degrees during the read operation. The built-in DQS phase shift circuitry found only in Altera’s industry-leading FPGAs is the optimal phase shift solution and eliminates the need to use less efficient design techniques such as varying signal trace lengths or adding fixed delay elements, which dramatically complicate board design.

The easy-to-use DQS phase shift circuitry in Stratix and Stratix GX devices automatically shifts the DQS signal 90 degrees, simplifying design. In addition to the DQS phase shift feature, Stratix and Stratix GX devices support advanced features that are essential for building reliable, high-speed memory interfaces, including: six registers in the I/O element for high-speed DDR signaling, SSTL I/O standard support for interfacing with DDR SDRAMs, feature-rich PLLs for efficient clock management, and a robust clock distribution network for minimizing skew between clock and data channels. “DDR SDRAM memory interface designs, especially those using DIMM interfaces, are challenging to implement,” said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing for FPGA products at Altera. “The built-in DQS phase shift circuitry in Stratix and Stratix GX devices dramatically simplifies this design process.”

Altera’s Stratix and Stratix GX DDR SDRAM interfaces are hardware-verified to operate at 400 Mbps with DIMMs under worst-case conditions. This ensures customers have a low-risk path to DDR SDRAM interface implementation. In addition, customers can now evaluate Stratix and Stratix GX device-based DDR SDRAM interfaces at 400 Mbps using two DDR demo boards: the PCI Development Kit, Stratix Edition, which comes with a DDR400 SODIMM interface, and the Stratix GX Development Kit, which comes with a DDR400 DIMM. Both the kits come with the evaluation version of Altera’s DDR SDRAM controller IP for accelerating memory interface design cycles.

Altera’s DDR SDRAM controller IP was verified using the commonly used Denali Memory Models—Advance Verification (MMAV). Altera provides its customers an evaluation version of Denali’s MMAV models free of charge. “Altera’s high-performance DDR memory controller requires bug-free, accurate models to extract the most performance in the shortest time to market,” said Mark Gogolewski, CTO of Denali Software. “Denali’s Memory Modeler Advance Verification (MMAV) has proven itself in a wide variety of design flows as an effective tool for helping ASIC designers rapidly and accurately verify that their circuits achieve the highest performance with external memories like Micron’s 400-Mbps DDR SDRAM. We are pleased to offer MMAV to Altera’s customers.”

Altera also provides a complete system solution, including extensive technical documentation, characterization reports, software and tool support, SPICE and IBIS simulation models, development boards and intellectual property (IP) cores, to help system designers successfully interface Altera FPGAs to DDR SDRAMs. More information can be found at In addition, the results, test set-up and design file information used in verifying interoperability between Micron’s DDR SDRAMs and Altera’s Stratix devices are available at For more information about Altera’s Stratix and Stratix GX FPGAs visit the Altera web site at

About Micron Technology
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, Flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit its web site at

About Altera
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, 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. Micron is a trademark of Micron Technology, Inc.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

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