Actel Targets Next-Generation FPGA Designs with Libero Integrated Design Environment

2/14/2003 - Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL), a supplier of innovative programmable logic solutions, announced it has enhanced its Actel LiberoTM integrated design environment (IDE) for the design and development of its field-programmable gate array (FPGA) product families. Actel Libero 2.3 IDE offers improvements to the synthesis and place-and-route tools from Synplicity® and Actel, respectively. Other new features include FlashLockTM support for Actel's flash-based ProASICPLUS devices, additional SmartPower capabilities and several layout enhancements to the Designer R1-2003 software. The new features and capabilities of the Libero 2.3 tool suite enable Actel to offer designers more than a full speed grade of improved performance over the current version and a reduction in design cycle time when designing next-generation FPGA solutions.

"As the capabilities of programmable logic devices grow, a comprehensive integrated design environment is critical to design success," said Saloni Howard-Sarin, tools marketing director at Actel. "With the enhancements to and performance improvements enabled by the Libero tool suite, we expect many more designers using the Libero solution will now be able to take advantage of our cutting-edge FPGA products."

Enhancements to the Libero Design Environment
The Libero 2.3 IDE features Synplicity's Synplify® 7.2 software, which includes several quality of results (QoR) enhancements, such as improved correlation between synthesis and post-layout timing results, as well as new carry-chain support for Actel's high-performance Axcelerator products. The Synplify software also offers improved performance for Actel's ProASICPLUS family.

"Actel and Synplicity have renewed their commitment to providing designers with quality EDA tools for Actel's FPGAs," said Jeff Garrison, director of marketing for FPGA products at Synplicity. "By taking advantage of Synplicity's market-leading FPGA synthesis technology, we believe customers using Actel's Libero integrated design environment will be able to meet aggressive performance and time-to-market goals when designing complex FPGAs, such as Actel's Axcelerator or ProASICPLUS solutions."

Updated versions of SynaptiCAD WaveFormer Lite and Mentor Graphics' ModelSim® are also included in the new version of Actel Libero.

"We continue to work closely with Actel to offer designers the latest in simulation technology for Actel's programmable logic solutions," said John Lenyo, director of marketing for ModelSim at Mentor Graphics. "A flexible and easy-to-use simulation environment, ModelSim enables designers to bring high-density FPGA products, such as Actel's Axcelerator and ProASICPLUS solutions, to market faster with reduced verification run time."

The Actel Designer R1-2003 software contains several layout enhancements, delivering more than a full speed grade of improved performance over the current version. The Actel Designer Extended Layout Script offers up to 32 percent improvements in performance for specific designs. Updates have also been made to the simulation libraries and the SDF timing file. Further, designers of Actel ProASIC and ProASICPLUS FPGAs using the Actel Libero tool suite now may benefit from new SmartPower features, enabling designers to save analysis settings and produce reports.

Other enhancements to the Libero IDE include the addition of FlashLock support for Permanent LockTM feature in ProASICPLUS FPGAs, allowing designers to protect the device by disabling the ability to reprogram or reverse engineer the device. This protects customers from having their designs and intellectual property copied. Actel's Libero Project Manager has also been optimized to include several improvements making it easier to for designers to track and manage changes to projects. Actel Libero and Actel Designer tools also offer enhanced online help in an HTML-based system, including updated documentation and easier access of information.

About the Libero Integrated Design Environment
Actel's Libero comprehensive design environment integrates industry-leading design tools and streamlines the design flow; manages all design and report files; and passes necessary design data between tools. The Libero tool suite supports mixed-mode design entry input, giving designers the choice of mixing either high-level VHDL or Verilog HDL language blocks with schematic modules within a design.

The Actel Libero design environment includes best-in-class tools such as Mentor Graphics' ViewDrawTM schematic capture tool; SynaptiCAD's WaveFormer Lite 8.9 test bench generation system; Mentor Graphics' ModelSim 5.6 simulation and design verification software; Synplicity's Synplify 7.2 synthesis software; and Actel's Silicon Explorer verification and logic analyzer tool and Actel Designer place-and-route software.

Pricing and Availability
The Actel Libero 2.3 integrated design environment is available in three editions: Platinum, Gold and Silver. Pricing begins at $995. The Libero Silver and Evaluation editions may be used by qualified designers for one year and 45 days, respectively, free of charge via the Actel Web site.

Pricing for the Actel Designer Platinum version begins at $995. The Designer Gold and Designer Platinum Evaluation editions are currently available on the Actel Web site. Current customers on maintenance will be upgraded to Designer version R1-2003 at no additional cost. For more information, please contact Actel.

About Actel
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:

The Actel name and logo, Libero, FlashLock and Permanent Lock are trademarks of Actel Corporation.

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