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Actel offers new starter kit for A3P250 FPGA

Posted: 24 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:actel? proasic3? starter kit? a3p250? fpga?

Actel Corp. announced the availability of the ProASIC3 starter kit and the sampling of its 250K-gate A3P250 FPGA. The company unveiled dual versions of the starter kit to help ease design implementation and offer low-cost, full-speed programming for the A3P250 device. Available in both a prototyping and a low-cost evaluation version, the starter kit allows the exploration of the architectural features unique to the ProASIC3/E family, including secure ISP and live at power-up capability.

The A3P250 device is the latest addition to Actel's ProASIC3/E family, one of the industry's lowest-cost FPGA family and the only single-chip device family with secure ISP, via 128bit AES encryption. According to the company, the A3P250 device is an attractive programmable logic solution for a range of high-volume, value-based applications in the consumer, industrial, medical, communications and automotive markets.

"With the announcement of immediate availability of the low-cost starter kit and our A3P250 device, Actel continues to execute its plan to roll-out the ProASIC3, the industry's only true flash-based FPGA solution," said Martin Mason, director of flash product marketing at Actel.

A3P250 FPGA

The single-chip 250K-gate A3P250 FPGA contains 1,024 bits (128 bits x 8 pages) of on-chip user nonvolatile flash memory and six clock conditioning circuits, one with on-board phase-locked loop (PLL). This device supports four I/O banks with up to 157 I/Os and advanced I/O standards, including PCI, LVDS and LVPECL. For power-conscious customers, the A3P250 devices deliver standby power consumption of 3mA under typical conditions. Samples of this product are already available.

ProASIC3/E starter kit

The starter kit is available in two versions. The "EVAL" kit includes an A3P250 FPGA soldered directly to an evaluation board, providing customers a low-cost solution to validate the performance of the device, while the "PROTO" kit includes a socket-equipped evaluation board, allowing 9 of the 10 devices in the ProASIC3/E family to be evaluated with the "PROTO" kit.

The PROTO and EVAL boards both contain an alphanumeric LCD display and provide CAT5E connectors to demonstrate the high-speed LVDS functionality of the A3P250 (and larger) devices within the ProASIC3/E family.

Multiple starter kits may also be connected together in a JTAG chain to demonstrate multiple-device programming via a single programmer connection, said Actel. This feature facilitates a seamless connection to other JTAG-based systems that the end-user may be developing.

The starter kit contains a high-speed FlashPro3 programmer, which interfaces to a PC via a USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 interface, Actel's Libero Gold 6.2 Integrated Design Environment (IDE) software, USB cable, programming cable, power supply, tutorials and support documentation in addition to the starter kit board.

The new ProASIC3/E starter kits are already available. The "PROTO" kit is priced at $449, while the "EVAL" kit is available for $349.

ProASIC 3/E FPGA

Touted to be the industry's lowest-cost FPGA solution, the ProASIC3/E deliver 64bit 66MHz PCI performance and features on-chip user flash memory. Actel added that the 10 devices in the ProASIC3/E families, ranging in density from 30,000 to 3-million system gates, deliver advanced integrated secure ISP. Volume pricing for the ProASIC3 family starts at $1.50 in 250,000-unit quantities.




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