Altera Unveils 16-Mbit and 64-Mbit FPGA Configuration Solutions

5/4/2004 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) expanded its family of low-cost serial configuration devices with the addition of 16-Mbit and 64-Mbit versions. These new devices—used to configure FPGAs during system power up or at other times required by system operations—deliver the densities needed to support all members of Altera’s new family of high-performance Stratix® II FPGAs. The new configuration devices also support multiple FPGAs within the same system, helping to reduce system costs and complexity. In addition, the devices support CycloneTM FPGAs and will support future Altera® FPGAs.

Unlike traditional configuration devices, which can only be programmed once, all members of the serial configuration device family, including the new EPCS16 and EPCS64 devices, are reprogrammable and support in-system-programmability (ISP). ISP allows customers to reprogram configuration devices on the board, thereby improving system flexibility and facilitating field upgrades.

Historically, configuration device costs have been up to 30 percent of the cost of the supported FPGA, significantly adding to the cost of any FPGA implementation. By contrast, Altera’s low-cost configuration device family costs approximately 10 percent of the supported FPGA, helping to reduce total FPGA costs.

“By expanding the density range of our low-cost serial configuration devices, Altera can provide our customers with a very cost-effective, single-chip solution for high-density FPGA configuration,” said David Greenfield, senior director of FPGA product marketing at Altera. “With the capacity to support multiple FPGAs, these devices increase system integration, thereby driving down overall product costs.”

Pricing and Availability
The EPCS16 and EPCS64 devices will be offered in pin-compatible, 16-pin small-outline integrated circuit (SOIC) packages qualified to industrial temperature specifications. In addition, the standard package will also be lead-free and compliant to the restriction of hazardous substance (RoHS) directive, a European initiative aimed at eliminating the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of semiconductors and printed circuit boards. The 16-Mbit EPCS16 device will be available in Q3 2004, and the 64-Mbit EPCS64 device in Q4 2004. Projected volume pricing by the end of 2005 for the EPCS16 device is $7.50 and for the EPCS64 device is $20.00.

About Altera’s Serial Configuration Device Family
Altera’s serial configuration devices are the lowest-cost configuration devices in the industry. Specifically engineered for maximum efficiency, they deliver an advanced feature set while minimizing costs. Features such as ISP and reprogramming capabilities at a cost even lower than one-time-programmable solutions provide a significant advantage over other configuration solutions. The new serial configuration devices are ideal complements to the Cyclone FPGA family in addressing high-volume, price-sensitive applications because they enable an FPGA and configuration device combination that provides a total system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solution at the lowest possible cost. The denser members of the serial configuration family also support the industry-leading Stratix II family of FPGAs.

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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