Altera Offers Largest FPGA in Stratix Pro Nios Development Kit

8/5/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced the immediate availability of the Nios® Development Kit, StratixTM Professional Edition, featuring the largest FPGA available in a Nios development kit, greater on-chip memory, increased debug features, and newly bundled debugging software. The kit’s large Stratix FPGA provides hardware engineers with greater resources to support the development of complex, high-performance designs, while the increased debug features and bundled software enable software engineers to accelerate the development of their systems based on the industry-leading soft Nios embedded processor core. The Nios Development Kit, Stratix Professional Edition is designed to accelerate the development of embedded designs targeting wireless infrastructure, high-end commercial communications, industrial automation, medical equipment, and military/aerospace applications.

“Altera’s Nios processor has played a key part in our MicroPulse 4 range of products. The flexibility of the processor and ease-of-use of the development tools allowed us to significantly reduce development time,” said Graham Vesey, electronic development manager at Peak NDT Ltd. “Altera programmable devices have played a major role in the MicroPulse products for many years. The development of the Nios soft embedded processor means Altera will have that role for many more. We are looking forward to enhancing our design capability with the large Stratix devices and advanced debug tools included with the Nios Development Kit, Stratix Professional Edition.”

The Nios Development Kit, Stratix Professional Edition includes the latest release of the Nios embedded processor, version 3.02, and the Stratix EP1S40 device, which delivers more than 40,000 logic elements and over 3 Mbits of on-chip memory. The kit’s development board also features 16 Mbytes of SDRAM, 1 Mbyte of SRAM, 8 Mbytes of flash memory, a 10/100 Ethernet port, two serial ports, a Mictor connector for software trace debug, two expansion headers (including over 80 available user-defined I/O pins), a power supply and a ByteBlasterTM II download cable. In addition, version 3.02 of the Nios processor contains the enhanced on-chip instrumentation (OCI) core and software provided by First Silicon Solutions (FS2), for real-time software debugging.

This new development kit also provides designers with the Quartus® II design software (which includes the SOPC Builder system design tool) and a complete suite of software development tools. Bundled tools include Red Hat’s GNUPro compiler and GDB/insight debugging tool, as well as evaluation versions of Accelerated Technology’s Nucleus real-time operating system (RTOS) and the code|lab Developer Suite, which offers native support for FS2’s BlackBox debug probe and support for Altera’s ByteBlaster II download cable for software debug. The kit also features example reference designs preloaded into the on-board flash memory as well as complete hardware and software tutorials, all to support an accelerated user learning curve for developers who may not be familiar with FPGAs.

“This powerful development kit offers four times the FPGA density of the nearest competing kit, helping designers both to build larger and more complex designs and to build them more quickly,” said Bob Garrett, senior marketing manager for Nios product marketing at Altera. “Unlike many competing development kits, our Nios development kits are designed from the ground up by the Nios development team. With more than 10,000 Nios embedded processor hardware development kits shipped worldwide, this new kit builds on that industry-wide acceptance.”

Pricing and Availability
The Nios Development Kit, Stratix Professional Edition, is currently available from both Altera and authorized Altera distributors for $2,495. This new offering includes third-party debug software that would otherwise have cost customers an additional $995 if purchased separately. Further information regarding Altera’s development kits is available at

About Micropulse
Micropulse is predominantly used within the Non-Destructive Testing Industry for high-integrity ultrasonic inspections, such as the inspection of steam-raising plants for nuclear power stations, or critical inspections of solid-fuel rocket motors. It is widely recognized as an industry leader in its field.

About the Nios Embedded Processor
Currently the world’s most widely licensed soft-core embedded processor, Altera’s Nios general-purpose RISC CPU can be integrated with a wide array of peripherals, custom instructions, and hardware acceleration units to create a custom system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solution. Featuring a 16-bit instruction set and user selectable 16- or 32-bit data paths, configurable for a wide range of applications and consuming minimal device space, the Nios processor facilitates complex system designs. While royalty-free when used in Altera FPGAs and HardCopyTM devices, a royalty-based ASIC license for OEM applications is also available. For more information, visit

About Stratix Devices
The Stratix device family is the industry’s first family of production-qualified FPGAs built on a 0.13-micron, all-layer copper process and the winner of EDN magazine’s 2002 Digital IC Innovation Award. Featuring embedded DSP blocks, embedded RAM blocks and support for leading-edge and emerging I/O standards, Stratix devices give designers the performance and densities they need to meet the challenges of high-bandwidth system design. For more information about the Stratix device family, 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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