Altera Introduces Cyclone Edition of Nios Embedded Processor Development Kit

3/25/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced the availability of the Nios® Development Kit, CycloneTM Edition, a complete development and prototyping platform for a wide range of cost-sensitive, high-volume embedded applications. The development kit provides everything designers need for system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) development using the industry's lowest-cost FPGA family.

"The low-cost combination of Nios processors in Cyclone devices allows us to integrate all of our needed processor and peripheral functions into a single Altera® device, saving engineering time and board space," said George Diehl, engineering manager at Sigma Instruments. "The Altera solution enables us to avoid problems with component obsolescence, since our product lifecycles are fairly long. Going forward, we intend to replace all of our microprocessor designs with a Nios processor in a Cyclone device."

This new offering includes version 3.0 of the Nios embedded processor, the Cyclone EP1C20 device, the Quartus® II design software, the SOPC Builder system design tool, and a complete suite of software development tools.

"We have already shipped more than 10,000 Nios embedded processor hardware development kits worldwide, demonstrating outstanding industry acceptance," said Tim Southgate, vice president of software and tools marketing at Altera. "Now, developers of cost-sensitive embedded systems can leverage the Nios processor's power in a low-cost FPGA fabric that provides a level of flexibility not possible with off-the-shelf embedded microprocessors. This new development kit contains everything needed-including best-in-class development tools and complete documentation-to enable engineers to begin designing on their Nios development boards almost immediately."

The latest in the growing family of Nios development kits targeted for specific programmable logic families, this new kit features a Cyclone development board that incorporates the Cyclone EP1C20 device, 1 Mbyte of SRAM, 16 Mbytes of SDRAM, 8 Mbytes of flash, a 10/100 Ethernet port, two serial ports, a Mictor connector for software debug, two expansion headers, a power supply, and a download cable. Intended to enable designers to complete their first design in less than a day, the kit also includes reference designs preloaded in on-board flash memory, and complete hardware and software tutorials to accelerate the user's learning curve. Further information on both current and future Nios development kits is available on the Altera web site at

Third-Party Tools
The Cyclone Edition kit supports a complete set of Accelerated Technology's software development tools, including the Nucleus real-time operating system (RTOS), and the code|labTM Developer Suite. The code|lab software features native support for First Silicon Solutions' (FS2) BlackBox® debug probe and support for Altera's ByteBlasterMVTM download cable for software debug. Further information on the Nucleus RTOS and the code|lab Developer Suite can be found at

Pricing and Availability
The Nios Development Kit, Cyclone Edition, is currently available from Altera, authorized Altera distributors, and on the Altera web site at for $995. The Accelerated Technology code|lab Developer Suite, Nucleus RTOS, and FS2 BlackBox debug probe are currently available from Accelerated Technology and First Silicon Solutions.

About the Nios Embedded Processor
Altera's Nios embedded processor is the world's most widely licensed soft-core embedded processor today. The Nios embedded processor is a general-purpose RISC CPU that can be combined with a wide array of peripherals, custom instructions, and hardware acceleration units to create a custom system-on-a-programmable-chip solution. The processor features a 16-bit instruction set and user-selectable 16- or 32-bit data paths, configurable for a wide range of applications. A typical 32-bit data path Nios processor consumes only $2.00 worth of logic in Altera's low-cost Cyclone FPGAs, making it one of the lowest cost RISC processors available today. The Nios embedded processor is royalty free when used in Altera FPGAs and HardCopyTM devices. An ASIC license for OEM applications is available for an additional charge. For more information, visit

About Cyclone Devices
Cyclone devices are the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs. With densities ranging from 2,910 to 20,060 logic elements (LEs), 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. code|lab is a trademark of Accelerated Technologies, Inc. BlackBox is a trademark of First Silicon Solutions, Inc.

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