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Soft ARM7 processor optimized for ProASIC3 FPGAs

Posted: 02 Nov 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:actel? m7a3p250? m7a3pE600? m7a3p100? coremp7?

Actel Corp. has started to sample three devicesthe M7A3P250, M7A3PE600 and M7A3P100with CoreMP7, a soft arm7 microprocessor optimized for use in its proasic3 family of FPGAs.

The company's move to create the first soft core FPGA version of the ARM7 family microprocessor stems from a licensing deal it signed in March 2005 with ARM Ltd.

Actel is offering the 32-bit ARM7 family microprocessor for use in its products free of license fees, which helps reduce the cost of entry and increase designer access to SoC development with the ARM7 family. Operating at up to 25MHz, CoreMP7 is suitable for many applications in the consumer, industrial, automotive, and high-reliability sectors.

"With the release of CoreMP7, we are extending the reach of the ARM architecture to include markets that could not previously afford individual access to this technology," said Dennis Kish, Actel's vice president of marketing. "Actel, in close collaboration with ARM, has combined the flexibility of Actel FPGAs with ARM's industry-standard ARM7 processor family to produce a complete and powerful, yet easy to use, product for every designer."

In addition to ProASIC3 FPGAs, Actel plans to extend CoreMP7 for use with other product families such as its recently announced Actel Fusion technology, which mixes analog and non-volatile memory on a single device.

Actel's CoreMP7 is supported by the tools that exist for the ARM7 family, including ARM RealView development tools. It will also be supported by Actel's new CoreConsole tool and Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE), a development kit and a host of third-party tools.

The ARM-ready M7 ProASIC3 devices support up to three million system gates, and incorporate the company's FlashLock technology, making them immune to tampering.

"The unrivaled security features of Actel's nonvolatile FPGAs have enabled a soft IP version of the ARM7 architecture to be made available in a programmable logic device for the first time," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president of marketing, ARM.

Implementation of CoreMP7 in Actel's M7 ProASIC3 devices starts at $2.75 in 250,000-unit volumes.

- Ismini Scouras

eeProductCenter




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