Actel Debuts Next-generation Compact FlashPro Lite Programmer

4/23/2003 - Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) announced the availability of its portable, low-cost FlashPro Lite programmer for use with the company's flash-based ProASICPLUS family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Actel's next-generation programmer has been size-optimized to create a very compact product that allows customers to program devices using a laptop computer at any location. The new FlashPro Lite enables designers to explore the in-system programmability (ISP) and FlashLock on-chip security system features of the company's low-power, reprogrammable ProASICPLUS FPGAs. With today's announcement, Actel has delivered a portable, cost-effective programming solution that provides designers with access to an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) alternative when designing applications in the industrial, communications, networking and avionics markets.

"In addition to being extremely cost-effective, our next-generation FlashPro Lite is approximately one fourth the size of Actel's FlashPro programmer, and therefore, extremely compact," said Jon Ewald, director of product marketing at Actel. "The programmer's portability enables designers to easily configure an Actel ProASICPLUS FPGA using a laptop no matter where they are. FlashPro Lite also gives customers access to the ISP capability of our low-power, secure ProASICPLUS devices for use in their communications, industrial and avionics designs."

FlashPro Lite supports the Standard Test and Programming Language (STAPL), making the device independent of any specific programming algorithms. The algorithm is embedded into the programming file, independent of the FlashPro software, enabling the same programming file to be used with other STAPL-compliant programmers.

Actel's next-generation programmer draws power from the target board rather than an external power brick, making for a very compact and portable device. Further, Actel's programming solutions implement a 26-pin header to connect to the target board, thereby allowing designers to program a board built for FlashPro Lite using either Actel's FlashPro or Silicon Sculptor programmers. FlashPro Lite is supported by the same FlashPro software as Actel's FlashPro programmer, providing an easy transition from one programmer to another for customers accustomed to using the software.

The ProASICPLUS family, Actel's second-generation of flash-based FPGAs, consists of seven devices ranging in density from 75,000 to 1-million system gates. The combination of a fine-grained, single-chip ASIC-like architecture and nonvolatile flash configuration memory makes Actel's ProASICPLUS offering a strong ASIC alternative. The devices are live at power up, low power, highly secure and require no separate configuration memory, all characteristics shared by ASICs. The ProASICPLUS architecture and design methodology support popular FPGA and ASIC tool flows, reducing time to market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions. Key features of the ProASICPLUS family include multiple phase-locked loops (PLLs), support for up to 198k bits of two-port embedded SRAM and 712 user-configurable I/Os, and improved ISP.

Pricing and Availability
The low-cost FlashPro Lite portable programmer is currently available for use with Actel's ProASICPLUS device family. Pricing begins at $150. FlashPro Lite is also included in Actel's low-cost ProASICPLUS Starter Kit introduced in March 2003, at a price of $249. For further information about pricing and availability, 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 are registered trademarks of Actel Corporation.

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