Altera’s Cyclone FPGA Performs 70% Faster than Competitive Devices

4/7/2004 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) released the results of a new benchmark analysis highlighting its compelling performance leadership in the low-cost FPGA market. This analysis demonstrates that Altera® CycloneTM devices outperform the competition’s Spartan-3 family by an average of more than 70 percent. Coupled with the broad availability of devices and the industry’s lowest cost structure, Cyclone devices are increasingly becoming the de-facto choice for this low-cost segment of the market. Already in the hands of more than 2,500 customers since its introduction in 2002, Cyclone FPGAs have taken the industry by storm.

“As shown by the results of this new benchmarking analysis, based on a suite of approximately 50 customer designs, we deliver convincing performance leadership in the low-cost FPGA market,” said David Greenfield, Altera’s senior director of product marketing for FPGA products. “Additionally, Cyclone devices are on distributor’s shelves and available in high-volume production worldwide. Our ability to flawlessly rollout this family on schedule and deliver a huge performance advantage has been our competitive edge.”

Benchmarking Results
Utilizing Synplify 7.5.0 from Synplicity coupled into Altera Quartus® II version 4.0 and Xilinx ISE version 6.2 place-and-route software, benchmark results were generated using both “least-effort” and “best-effort” tool settings representing novice and expert users. In the “least-effort” settings, Cyclone devices outperformed Spartan-3 devices on average by more than 60 percent. In the “best-effort” setting, Cyclone devices proved to be 70 percent faster on average. In fact, the slowest speed Cyclone devices outperform the fastest speed grade Spartan-3 parts by nearly 30 percent on average.

Details on the exact methodology utilized with this analysis, specific recommendations on performing customer benchmarks, and a summary of the results will be discussed in a net seminar on effective performance benchmarking comparing leading FPGA architectures on April 8, 2004; register at Additional information is also available on the Altera web site at

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. Manufactured 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
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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