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Actel tips soft ARM processor on Igloo FPGA

Posted: 19 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Igloo FPGA? Cortex-M1? processor core?

Flash memory and antifused-based FPGA vendor Actel Corp. has said it is offering the Cortex-M1 processor core from ARM Holdings plc on its Igloo range of FPGAs.

The move is part of a strategy to increase market penetration for Igloo in the portable equipment market, the company said. Actel had already made the Cortex-M1 soft core available on its M1 ProASIC3/E and M1 Fusion device families.

In an Igloo FPGA, the Cortex-M1 core consumes 24?A in static mode and 3?A in sleep mode, Actel said.

"By porting the ARM Cortex-M1 processor to the lower power Igloo family, ARM and Actel are pitching FPGAs as practical solutions for battery-powered mobile systems," said Tom R. Halfhill, senior analyst with the Microprocessor Report.

Developers do not need to purchase an ARM license to use the Cortex-M1 on Igloo. All the relevant permissions and licenses are granted in the piece part purchase price of the FPGA.

The Cortex-M1 processor is initially available for use in Actel's 600,000-gate M1AGL600 where it would occupy about the third of the device. The devices offer 5?W static power and either 1.2- or 1.5V operation.

The M1AGL600 is available now with additional family members slated for 2008. Pricing starts at $3.70.

Actel's first target for Cortex-M1 on Igloo is portable storage, the company said and the company has developed reference designs with Arasan Chip Systems, iWave and Palmchip.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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