Altera FPGAs Enable Texas Memory’s RamSan-320 Data Storage Appliance

9/11/2003 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Texas Memory Systems (TMS) announced that multiple Altera CycloneTM FPGAs enable the breakthrough performance of TMS’ RamSanTM-320 data storage appliance. An order of magnitude faster than conventional disk-based data storage systems, TMS’ RamSan-320 appliance provides immediate, simultaneous access to multiple data files without significant system slowdown, even under heavy load conditions. Chosen by TMS for their speed, low cost, and flexibility, Altera’s Cyclone devices are used to perform a variety of critical functions in the RamSam-320, controlling the CPU, memory, disk, DMA, network, power, and display.

“For our products, high performance translates into customer satisfaction, and Altera’s Cyclone devices offer us the optimal combination of speed, design flexibility and cost we require to meet our performance needs,” said Holly Frost, CEO at TMS. “We had previously used FPGAs from other providers, but Cyclone devices have provided us with superior performance and value. We intend to continue relying on multiple Cyclone FPGAs for many years by leveraging our existing Cyclone design work in future product development.”

RamSan solid-state disks accelerate a wide variety of intensive applications by using SDRAM chips as the primary storage media instead of conventional spinning hard drives. This architecture allows for speeds hundreds of times faster than normal hard drives, and 2x-25x improvements in I/O or bandwidth-intensive applications such as OLTP, batch processing, and ERP. In addition, solid-state disks exhibit superior reliability and data persistence compared to other types of storage.

“TMS’ use of multiple Cyclone devices in a wide variety of critical functions in a high-performance storage appliance demonstrates the flexibility, performance, and cost advantages that Cyclone devices provide,” said Alain Bismuth, vice president of the consumer, computing, and industrial business units at Altera. “The ability to reuse their design work for multiple functions and products helps to both simplify and accelerate the development process, while also significantly reducing development costs. These are benefits that a customer like TMS can readily turn into its competitive advantages.”

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 Texas Memory Systems
Since 1978, Texas Memory Systems (TMS) has designed, manufactured and marketed the fastest storage subsystems available. TMS provides solutions that offer the best value and higher performance available in the solid state disk and digital signal processing markets. More information is available at or by calling (713) 266-3200.

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. Texas Memory Systems, World’s Fastest Storage, and RamSan are trademarks or registered trademarks of Texas Memory Systems.

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