Altera Ramps up .13-micron Production of Cyclone Devices

2/11/2003 - Continuing its aggressive and methodical engineering execution, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced that two CycloneTM devices, the EP1C6 and EP1C20 devices, have moved from sampling to production-qualified status six weeks ahead of schedule. Originally targeted for March, the move to volume production is a result of significant engineering accomplishments driven by the success of TSMC's robust and proven 0.13-micron process technology, and Altera's new "24/7" test methodology. Designers of volume-driven applications now have access to all the benefits of the most advanced programmable logic technology at ASIC prices.

"Altera Cyclone FPGAs provide high flexibility to our medical equipment products," said Mu Le Min, vice president and director for R&D of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co. Ltd. "Cyclone devices are more cost efficient than ASICs, which have high start-up costs and the barrier of minimum order quantities. Also, Altera's design software is quick and easy, providing us additional cost and time-to-market advantages."

Altera harnessed the power of the Internet to develop a new, continuous, massively parallel product test methodology. Involving several teams in various Altera locations around the world, engineers work on different areas of testability and user check out, and seamlessly hand-off from one group to another in different time zones. This "24/7" test methodology results in shorter development times that in turn accelerates customers' time to market. Coupled with a tight partnership with TSMC, this excellence in engineering is proving to customers that Altera's focus on quality and reliability, and its steadfast commitment to customers' needs is paying off.

"Cyclone device's target markets have a quick lifecycle ramp, so we know that our customers are just as sensitive to time-to-market pressures as they are to cost," said Bill Hata, vice president of product engineering at Altera. "We put huge emphasis on the timely delivery of silicon to our customers. Our time-to-market is their time-to-market."

The Cyclone device family is the only "built from the ground up" low-cost 0.13-micron FPGA in production. Initial shipments to distributors have begun and Altera plans to stock its worldwide distribution channel with the first 25,000 units during the next two months.

Pricing and Availability
Production devices of the EP1C6 and EP1C20 devices are available today. The EP1C12 and EP1C3 members of the Cyclone device family are scheduled to go straight to production by March and April, respectively. Thanks to Altera's vertical migration packaging 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 currently available on the market. Prices of Cyclone device range from $4 to $40 per unit for high volumes of the EP1C3 and EP1C20 devices, respectively. For more information on device availability, please visit:

To read what customers are saying about the Cyclone device family, please visit:

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.

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