FPGA and EDA News – 2007.12.14

Actel LCD Control Solutions
Actel Corporation announced solutions for liquid crystal display (LCD) control applications. The new IGLOO Video Demo Board, LCD adaptor boards with LCD panels, the IGLOO Video Demo Kit (IVDK), and display-related reference blocks use the 5 microwatt (µW) IGLOO field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The new offerings will be attractive to the power-sensitive designers of portable and handheld consumer, industrial, medical, automotive, and military devices that utilize small-to-medium LCD displays.

Open Source Linux Mobile Computing Platform
ARM ((LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)) and six companies are teaming together to address the rise in consumer demand for access to the Internet and advanced applications on larger display mobile devices. The collaboration will result in the development of a Linux-based open source platform for next-generation mobile applications. The collaboration builds on the ARM architecture and its ecosystem of Partners to deliver a standards-base platform based on Linux. This group of companies are all working to accelerate the enablement of truly always on, connected mobile computing (CMC) devices.

Lattice LatticeSC/M Supports Quad Data Rate
Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: LSCC) announced FPGA-based support for Quad Data Rate (QDR) II/II+ memory devices. The LatticeSC(TM) and LatticeSCM(TM) FPGA families (LatticeSC/M) now support QDRII/II+ rates up to 750Mbps. The high-speed QDR II and QDR II+ memory controller IP (intellectual property) is implemented in Lattice’s low power Masked Array for Cost Optimization (MACO(TM)) structured ASIC technology.

A Supercomputer the Size of a Laptop
In a paper (Ultra-compact, low RF power, 10 Gb/s silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator) published in the Optics Express journal, IBM researchers detailed a significant milestone in the quest to send information between multiple cores (“brains”) on a chip using pulses of light through silicon, instead of electrical signals on wires. With this new technology, supercomputers could one day be the size of a laptop. In addition, this laptop supercomputer would expend the energy of just one light bulb.

Precision Synthesis, Xilinx SmartGuide Combo
Precision® Synthesis, from Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT), combined with Xilinx® SmartGuide(TM) technology, reduces design time. Test results conducted jointly over the past year using Mentor’s Precision Synthesis tool and the Xilinx SmartGuide functionality show that users saved an average of 40% in mapping and place-and-route (P&R) time. The combined solution preserves unchanged portions of the design when making small changes, reducing overall design iteration time. Tests performed at Xilinx show that over 97% of the components went unchanged and quality of results (QoR) was maintained in the process. These results have also been verified by mutual customers.

PowerQUICC Optimized Java SE for Embedded
Freescale and Sun are optimizing Java SE for Embedded for the PowerQUICC III processor family. The new implementation will enable developers and systems designers may soon incorporate the functionality, security and portability of the Java(TM) SE platform into embedded systems powered by Freescale Semiconductor’s PowerQUICC III processors.

OneSpin Stand-Alone 360 EC-FPGA Equivalence Checker
OneSpin Solutions’ 360 EC-FPGA equivalence checker is now a stand-alone tool. Previously, 360 EC-FPGA was an extension of OneSpin’s 360 EC-ASIC equivalence checker. The stand-alone 360 EC-FPGA equivalence checker is the first sequential equivalence checking solution dedicated to and priced for the FPGA market. 360 EC-FPGA is the only equivalence checker to support all sequential optimizations performed by FPGA synthesis tools. The tool helps designers verify functionality without disabling the advanced synthesis optimizations vital to achieving functional, performance and cost goals.

Microbridge Rejustor Design Challenge
Microbridge is holding a contest — the Rejustor Application Design Challenge. To enter the contest, all you have to do is submit a circuit design idea for any of the rejustor devices available from Microbridge. A rejustor is a polysilicon re-adjustable resistance devices for calibration and temperature compensation.

Altera Zero-Power MAX IIZ CPLDs
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) created the zero-power MAX® IIZ CPLD to address the power, package and price constraints of the portable applications market. Offering a resource advantage of up to six times the density and three times the I/Os compared to competing traditional macrocell-based CPLDs, MAX IIZ devices allow designers to meet changing functional requirements at the same or lower power while saving board space. MAX IIZ devices deliver the many benefits of CPLDs—including flexibility, faster time to market, and board-level integration—to handsets and other portable applications. Altera optimized MAX IIZ devices to offer the best combination of zero power, small package,and low cost.

Screencast: Driving a Robot from Windows Mobile with Microsoft Robotics Studio
Check out Olivier Bloch’s webcast on using Microsoft Robotics Studio to build a service that runs on a Windows Mobile phone. The screencast shows how to use Robotics Studio to remotely drive a robot (connected via Bluetooth) from a Windows Mobile device.

Tensilica TRAX-PC Processor Trace
Tensilica®, Inc. added an optional full-speed, non-intrusive instruction trace capability to its configurable processor cores. Tensilica’s TRAX-PC processor trace capture macrocell is Nexus 5001 compatible and ideal for debugging complex, challenging real-time applications such as engine and motor control. Software control and use of the on-chip TRAX hardware is fully integrated into Tensilica’s Xplorer(TM) integrated design environment (IDE) so software engineers can easily develop and debug programs while using the TRAX-PC trace macrocell.

Discrete Power Semiconductors Grow in Automotive Market
According to Frost & Sullivan, discrete power semiconductors and microcontrollers will find significant opportunities in automotives as hybrid and electric vehicles gain popularity. End-user market expansion, increased automobile multiplexing, and wider application of vehicle integrated circuits (ICs) will likely sustain their growth. In their report, World Markets for Discrete Power Semiconductors in Automobiles, Frost & Sullivan indicates that the market generated revenues of $1.76 billion in 2006 and will reach $2.66 billion in 2010.

Altera Stratix III FPGA Features 1067 Mbps DDR3 Speed
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) Stratix® III FPGAs has achieved DDR3 memory interface speeds in excess of 1067 Mbps. The result is a 33% advantage in memory performance over competing FPGA solutions. The higher memory bandwidth enables new communications, computing, and video processing applications that were either previously impossible or required doubling the number of memory banks. Altera’s Stratix III FPGA family is the industry’s only FPGA to demonstrate full compliance to the JESD79-3 JEDEC DDR3 SDRAM standard, including the performance-critical read/write-leveling specification for maximum system performance.

VPN Firewall Upgrade System Patent
O2Micro® International Limited (NASDAQ:OIIM) (SEHK:0457) was issued 17 claims under Great Britain (GB) patent number 2,425,627 for its Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) IC upgrade system in VPN Firewall solutions.