Altera Reduces Costs by 30% with New Cyclone II FPGAs

6/29/2004 - Expanding its leadership in the low-cost FPGA market, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) launched the new CycloneTM II device family. Offering 30 percent lower cost and more than three times the logic density than its predecessor, Cyclone II FPGAs will expand on the industry-leading success set by the first-generation Cyclone family. In addition, Cyclone II FPGAs are approximately half the cost and, based on benchmark results from a large suite of designs, are more than 50 percent faster than competing low-cost FPGAs. Designers of low-cost, high-volume products now have a unique combination of density, price and performance, plus an expanded suite of features that will enable them to leverage programmable logic far beyond its traditional applications.

“Cyclone FPGAs deliver low-cost video processing and graphics generation in our Modero Viewpoint Touch Panels, helping to keep our costs to a minimum,” said Peter Nohrén, vice president of engineering for AMX. “With Cyclone II FPGAs, we can further reduce our costs and increase functionality at the same time.”

Based on a cost-optimized architecture manufactured on TSMC’s production-proven 90-nm low-k dielectric process, Cyclone II devices offer more features and greater density plus the lowest cost per logic element (LE) in the industry. Designers in the consumer, industrial, automotive, wireline and wireless communication, and medical markets can now enjoy new and enhanced features of the Cyclone II device family, including:

“As the Cyclone series has dramatically increased the capability and decreased the cost of FPGAs, designers are using them more and more as a cost-effective alternative to the growing development costs and risk associated with ASIC design,” said Steve Mensor, Altera’s senior director of product marketing. “With their greater densities and expanded feature set, Cyclone II devices will significantly expand the FPGA market into new, high-volume applications. Designers leveraging this capability have a complete set of development tools, including the free Quartus® II version 4.1 Web Edition software, and IP, including the Nios II soft-core processor, at their disposal to help them quickly implement their designs.”

Built on TSMC’s 90-nm Low-k Dielectric Process Technology
The Cyclone II family is the second line of Altera FPGAs to be built on TSMC’s production-proven, 90-nm process with Applied Materials’ Black Diamond low-k dielectric. This standard process gives Altera a competitive edge in meeting delivery commitments to customers. On-time delivery of end products onto store shelves is critical to a product’s success, especially in low-cost, high-volume markets. “TSMC’s 90-nm low-k dielectric process has been adopted and proven by several other leading semiconductor companies, including Altera, which is already using it for its Stratix® II FPGA family,” said Francois Gregoire, Altera’s vice president of technology. “Because Cyclone II FPGAs are targeted at cost-sensitive applications, it is important that they be built on a standard, robust process, reducing our customers’ exposure to risk. Our customers can rest assured that we will continue our track record of excellence in execution.”

Pricing and Availability
The Cyclone II EP2C35 device will be available in February 2005. All family members will be in full production by the second half of 2005. Volume pricing for the Cyclone II device family will begin at $22 in 250,000 unit quantities. The web edition of Quartus II version 4.1 software supports the entire Cyclone II family and can be downloaded for free on

For more information about Cyclone II devices, visit the Altera website at

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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