Pixart Imaging Selects Altera MAX CPLDs for Cellular Phone Cameras

12/17/2003 - Altera® Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced that Pixart Imaging Inc. chose a MAX® 3000A CPLD to replace a multi-chip solution for a cellular phone digital still camera add-on. Replacing multiple chips with a single Altera programmable logic device (PLD) enabled PixArt to lower production costs, reduce board space, and increase system reliability—all critical considerations for portable consumer appliances. In addition, using the Altera device increased PixArt’s design flexibility.

“Our working multi-chip design was not ideal in terms of cost, design complexity or footprint,” said Lori Lee, system engineer at PixArt. “Altera’s MAX 3000A device delivered the optimal mix of design flexibility, performance and power consumption needed to implement a single chip solution. That allowed us to reduce our costs and make the product more attractive to the major cell phone manufacturers that are our customers.”

The popularity of camera-enabled cell phones this year is clearly on the rise, especially during the holiday season, and according to Future Image, sales of cell phones with camera attachments could reach 40 million units in 2003. Cell phone shipments next year are expected to grow by 10 percent, accounting for 12.2 percent of the growth in semiconductor sales in 2004, according to Gartner. This increased semiconductor content is a result of the introduction of new features such as digital cameras, text messaging, and enhanced data capabilities. At the same time, cell phones and their accessories are also shrinking in size. This trend poses two serious challenges: designing increasing functionality into shrinking board space and delivering more complex designs at a competitive price. MAX devices offer system designers an optimal combination of cost, design flexibility and performance to meet these needs.

“PixArt’s use of MAX devices in their digital cameras demonstrates that cost-to-performance ratios are critical for portable consumer appliances,” says Luanne Schirrmeister, director of CPLD product marketing at Altera. “MAX devices combine unparalleled ease-of-use with volume pricing as low as $0.50. These twin benefits enable designers to optimize system performance, while holding down costs.”

In addition to low-cost CPLDs, Altera offers free development tools with its Quartus® II Web Edition software. A complete development kit for MAX CPLDs is available for only $99 through Altera’s distribution partner, Arrow Electronics. With easy-to-use software and development tools to accelerate development, customers can meet their cost and time to market targets.

Altera's 3.3-V MAX 3000A devices are based on the Altera MAX architecture and are cost-optimized for high-volume applications. Manufactured on an advanced 0.30-µm CMOS process, the electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM)-based MAX 3000A family provides instant-on capability and offers densities from 32 to 512 macrocells. MAX 3000A devices support in-system programmability (ISP) and can be easily reconfigured in the field. Each MAX 3000A macrocell is individually configurable for either sequential or combinatorial logic operation.

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 www.altera.com.

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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