Mentor's Tool Improves Designs with Actel's ProASIC Plus FPGAs

8/25/2004 - Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) and Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) announced that the latest version of Mentor Graphics® Precision® RTL Synthesis tool delivers significantly higher performance on designs utilizing Actel's flash-based, live at power-up ProASIC Plus family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Customers using the Precision RTL Synthesis tool can expect to achieve, on average, an 18 percent improvement in clock frequency over previous versions of the software. With the Precision RTL Synthesis tool, which is fully integrated into Actel's Libero 6.0 integrated design environment (IDE), designers can now specify higher frequencies and realize even greater performance gains from their ProASIC Plus devices within their existing design flows.

Detailed testing by Actel, encompassing several types of designs of up to 30,000 logic tiles, demonstrated this significant improvement in clock frequency. The results were achieved by deploying architecture-specific algorithms that augment the accurate timing-driven synthesis and multiple optimization techniques offered by Precision RTL Synthesis.

"Mentor Graphics is delighted to serve our mutual customers by working closely with Actel to enhance our customers' experience when utilizing Actel's high-performance FPGAs," said Simon Bloch, general manager of the Design Creation and Synthesis Division at Mentor Graphics. "Many of our customers value Actel's single-chip solutions. The high quality of results and ease-of-use of our Precision RTL Synthesis tool perfectly complement the unique features of the ProASIC Plus family, resulting in highly optimized synthesis flows for these customers."

Dennis Kish, vice president of marketing at Actel, said, "Actel's flash-based ProASIC Plus FPGAs offer the unique combination of reprogrammability and nonvolatility in an ASIC-like architecture. For customers who value the security and low power of our ProASIC Plus devices, the 2004a Precision RTL Synthesis release from Mentor Graphics delivers excellent synthesis results."

The Precision RTL Synthesis tool defines a new approach to complex FPGA design. Built on a unified data model, it allows designers to cross-probe between multiple views, giving users added control when analyzing a design. The intuitive debug environment includes an incremental timing analysis tool that allows companies to take control of next-generation FPGA implementation and timing challenges, resulting in shorter design cycles and significantly higher performance. Precision RTL Synthesis is fully integrated into Actel's Libero 6.0 IDE.

About ProASIC Plus
The ProASIC Plus FPGA family consists of devices ranging from 75,000 to 1 million system gates. The combination of a fine-grained, single-chip ASIC-like architecture and nonvolatile flash configuration memory makes Actel's ProASIC Plus offering a strong ASIC alternative. The devices are live at power-up, low power, highly secure, immune to neutron-induced firm errors, and require no separate configuration memory, all characteristics shared by ASICs. The ProASIC Plus architecture and design methodology support popular FPGA and ASIC tool flows, reducing time-to-market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $600 million and employs approximately 3,700 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site:

About Actel
Actel Corporation is a supplier of innovative programmable logic solutions, including field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) based on antifuse and flash technologies, high-performance intellectual property (IP) cores, software development tools and design services, targeted for the high-speed communications, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) replacement and radiation-tolerant markets. Founded in 1985, Actel employs more than 500 people worldwide. The Company is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, CA, 94043-4655. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835). Internet:

The Actel name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation. Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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