Mentor Delivers 100x Improvement with Altera Stratix GX Design Kit for ICX

9/22/2004 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT), the market leader in printed circuit board (PCB) design software, announced the availability of the Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICXTM. The new design kit allows engineers using the Mentor Graphics® ICX® signal integrity (SI) analysis tool to perform full-board analysis on designs featuring the high-speed serial I/O technology of the Altera Stratix GX devices hundred of times faster than previously possible with SPICE-based simulation techniques.

The industry's first SI design kit for high-speed serial interface (HSSI) to incorporate IBIS 4.1 compliant IEEE standard VHDL-AMS behavioral models, the Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX provides the flexibility to model the configurability of the Stratix GX HSSI and simulate with the accuracy of SPICE, yet at speeds hundreds of times faster. The design kit utilizes the strength of the Mentor Graphics ICX SI analysis solution for high-speed PCB designs, the first of its kind to support SPICE, IBIS and IEEE Standard VHDL-AMS in a single simulation environment.

By utilizing the IBIS 4.1 syntax, the Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX allows the VHDL-AMS (and original SPICE) models to be used with an IBIS 4.1 compliant simulation tool with the same convenience and simplicity SI engineers have come to expect from IBIS models and specialized SI tools.

"By working with Mentor to develop this unique design kit, we are able to provide Stratix GX users with models that work directly in the Mentor Graphics ICX signal integrity analysis environment," said Tim Southgate, vice president of tools and software marketing, Altera. "Providing accurate behavioral models helps our customers to ensure they achieve the full performance from the FPGA."

"This ICX design kit for the Stratix GX family will provide designers with higher performance alternatives to existing SI options," said John Isaac, director of market development, Systems Design Division, Mentor Graphics. "Previously, these options were available only by purchasing a stand-alone SPICE package, learning the complex SPICE language and generating time-consuming simulations. Because of the unique language support offered by ICX, this design kit combines the speed associated with IBIS and the accuracy of SPICE."

"What If" Scenarios and Simulations
The Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX allows designers to analyze large design spaces in a short period of time. After an initial analysis, a designer can quickly test "what if" scenarios on a wide variety of permutations of multi-gigabit transceiver configurations. This design kit also brings all the benefits of ICX to designers, including floor-planning, full-board analysis, and electrical constraint driven routing allowing the user to examine different placement and routing strategies for the high speed channel.

The Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX contains all the building blocks required to model a designer's own system by allowing incremental verification of the real design as it progresses through placement, routing and final verification. The speed of simulation that is afforded by these models also allows full system verification, often involving complex plug-in cards and backplanes, rather than just the simulation of a few selective nets.

Pricing and Availability
The Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX is available immediately, free of charge to Mentor Graphics customers and can be accessed through the High-Speed Resource Center on the Mentor Graphics Web site ( In addition to the Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX, Mentor Graphics also supplies footprints and sample breakouts for all the Stratix GX packages, as well as a copy of the Stratix GX reference design formatted for use with the Mentor Graphics DxDesignerTM, PADS® and Expedition® PCB design flows.

About the Stratix GX Platform Family
The Stratix GX family is Altera's second-generation embedded transceiver family based on a 0.13-Ám process technology with 1.5-V core voltage. Stratix GX devices have up to 20 embedded 3.125-Gbps transceivers and up to 45 differential I/O pins with dedicated dynamic phase alignment (DPA) capability supporting up to 1-Gbps source-synchronous data transfers. Stratix GX devices also offer up to 41,250 logic elements (LEs), 3.27 Mbits of TriMatrix(tm) memory, 14 DSP blocks, eight phase locked loops (PLLs), Terminator(tm) technology for impedance matching and signal integrity and advanced I/O buffers capable of interfacing with high-speed memory devices such as DDR SDRAM, QDR SRAM, QDR II SRAM, ZBT SRAM, DDR FCRAM and SDR SRAM devices. More technical information about the Stratix GX device family is available at

About ICX Signal Integrity Analysis
The ICX family of products provides PCB SI analysis functionality for integrated circuit (IC) device architectures from traditional parallel to state-of-the-art multi-gigabit serial interconnect. Mentor's ICX solution combines the electrical and physical aspects of a design, providing an integrated design and verification environment for signal integrity and timing analysis during layout. This environment uses true electrical rules to drive the placement and routing of high-speed boards, ensuring designs are electrically-correct the first time.

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

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 $675 million and employs approximately 3,800 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:

Mentor Graphics, ICX, PADS and Expedition are registered trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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