Altera Unveils HardCopy Stratix for Both ASIC and FPGA Developers

6/24/2003 - Setting its sights on the $20 billion ASIC industry, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) unleashed its new HardCopy StratixTM device family, offering both ASIC and FPGA designers the ultimate in design flexibility. With this announcement, Altera is seizing the opportunity from the ailing ASIC industry whose entire value proposition is suffering from intense economic pressure. This newest version of HardCopy devices extends beyond simple FPGA migration. System designers of high-volume applications can now directly target a low-cost HardCopy Stratix device at the very beginning of their design cycle. The unique design flow of Altera's HardCopy Stratix devices provide manufacturers of electronic systems in all industries with the power to bypass the pain and expense of ASIC development and continue to meet their cost and performance targets.

"While today's economic pressures are detrimental to some industries, it presents significant opportunities for Altera," said Rich Wawrzyniak, Semico Research's senior analyst for ASICs and SoCs. "More and more designers are looking to programmable logic to displace costly ASIC technologies, and HardCopy devices give them the additional, low-risk, low-cost option they need to fill their high-volume needs."

Altera's Quartus® II version 3.0 design software supports the HardCopy Stratix devices and now gives designers two paths to choose from-one for FPGAs, and the other for high-volume HardCopy designs. Erik Cleage, Altera Corporation's senior vice president of marketing, explains, "We're providing our customers with complete, risk-free control of their design. They can design for a few thousand FPGAs or 100,000 HardCopy devices without the cost and risks involved in ASIC development, all within a common design environment," he said. "Eventually, we'll see a world where most system designers will choose between an FPGA or HardCopy device, depending on their volume. ASICs will be reserved for extremely high-volume applications that can justify the development costs-and those opportunities are dwindling."

The first generation of HardCopy devices, specifically the APEXTM 20K version, has been successfully designed into aerospace, networking, enterprise storage, and high-end consumer applications. System designers in those markets took full advantage of the option to seamlessly migrate their original FPGA design to a HardCopy device. With this latest generation of Hard Copy devices, designers now have the option to maintain original FPGA design performance or potentially boost performance by an average of 50 percent, depending on their design. In addition, power consumption of the HardCopy device is on average 40 percent lower than the corresponding FPGA. Leveraging the $2,000 Quartus II design software—compared to ASIC design tools that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars—a design can be quickly and easily implemented in an FPGA with the capability to perform in-system modification and verification prior to migrating to the HardCopy device. In addition, utilizing the same device architecture, design tools, and intellectual property (IP) significantly minimizes overall system development cost.

About Quartus II Design Software
Altera's easy-to-use Quartus II design software is the most efficient, comprehensive environment available for designing CPLDs, FPGAs, and HardCopy devices. The Quartus II design software includes a suite of advanced system-level design features, access to Altera's extensive intellectual property portfolio, an advanced place-and-route engine including physical synthesis optimization technology, and comprehensive verification solutions. In addition, the latest third-party EDA synthesis and verification flows have been integrated into the Quartus II design software. For more information about the Quartus II design software, visit Designers can also download Altera's no-cost Quartus II Web Edition design software at

About HardCopy Stratix Devices
Altera's HardCopy Stratix devices are the industry's only low-cost mask-programmed devices with ASIC-level performance, price, and features that customers can take to production virtually risk-free. This unique ASIC-alternative is directly accessible for design through Altera's Quartus II version 3.0 design software. The HardCopy Stratix devices maintain the same features as the successful Stratix FPGAs and on average a 50 percent performance increase and up to a 40 percent decrease in power consumption over the equivalent Stratix FPGAs. Altera's HardCopy Stratix devices are ideal for high-performance, high-volume applications in the networking, wireless communication, high-end consumer electronics, industrial, test, and medical markets. For more information about the HardCopy Stratix devices, please visit

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

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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