Altera Rolls Out Cyclone FPGA to 1400 Customers in Nine Months

9/11/2003 - Already in the hands of 1,400 customers and ramping faster than any product in Altera Corporation’s (NASDAQ: ALTR) history, CycloneTM FPGAs continue to gain ground, the company announced. System designers in the communications, consumer, and industrial markets are rapidly adopting the industry’s lowest cost FPGA available to achieve advantages in their extremely competitive markets. Introduced nine months ago, Cyclone FPGAs are becoming the industry’s de facto standard for low-cost FPGA applications, meeting the price and performance needs of high-volume applications that require the flexibility of an FPGA at ASIC prices.

“Altera shipped tens of thousands of Cyclone FPGAs to us within three months of our receiving initial units,” said Minoru Kuramoto, deputy general manager, development group, Sumitomo Electric Networks, Inc. “Altera’s ability to reliably deliver volume quantities of their Cyclone devices helped us to satisfy the production schedule for our ADSL modem.”

Performance Advantage over Competing Low-Cost FPGAs
Altera benchmarks show that Cyclone devices perform an average of 60 percent faster than competing low-cost FPGAs, including recently announced 90-nanometer (nm)- based products. This performance advantage is a result of the product’s architecture, which was specifically built from the ground up for TSMC’s 0.13-micron process. When coupled with the powerful Quartus® II design software, Cyclone devices have the capability of running above 320 MHz, allowing customers to easily meet their timing targets using push button results. This frees up valuable time for designers who need to get their products to market faster.

“Altera’s Cyclone FPGAs have been a great asset in our effort to drive down the cost of our high-performance iPORT engines for video-over-Gigabit Ethernet,” said Alain Rivard, vice president, research and development at Pleora Technologies Inc. “Cyclone devices are the first FPGAs we've found that not only win on price, but also deliver the flexible memory architecture we need to improve design efficiencies.”

Cyclone FPGAs have raised the bar once again by supporting even higher data transfer rates via the LVDS I/O standard as well as adding support for the RSDS I/O standard. Cyclone FPGAs now support LVDS signaling at data transfer rates up to 640 Mbps per channel and RSDS signaling, commonly used for flat panel display applications, at up to 311 Mbps per channel.

Still the Low-Cost Leader
Including Altera’s recently announced EP1C4 device, the Cyclone family of devices continues to be the lowest cost FPGA family in the market today. Most importantly, it is the lowest cost 0.13-micron FPGA family available. For consumer and industrial markets in particular, where design cycles are short and the need to get to market fast is paramount, immediate availability of low-cost silicon solutions can determine the success or failure of a design.

“The rapid adoption of the Cyclone device family confirms that our ‘build from the ground up’ philosophy was spot on,” said Steve Mensor, senior director of product marketing at Altera. “Altera has firmly put a stake in the ground with the Cyclone device family’s low-cost leadership and performance advantage. With every new product that we introduce, we intend to continue to deliver maximum value to our customers.”

About the Cyclone Device Family
Built from the ground up to ensure the lowest possible cost, Cyclone devices are the industry’s lowest-cost FPGAs available today. Built on the advanced 0.13-micron, all-layer copper process, Altera developed the Cyclone device family to provide designers of high-volume, price-sensitive applications the flexibility of an FPGA at ASIC prices. With support for leading edge and emerging I/O standards, the Cyclone device family includes embedded RAM blocks and other features to put FPGA technology in the hands of designers developing volume-driven applications in the communication, consumer, computing, industrial and automotive markets. For more information about the Cyclone 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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