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Freescale, Altera debut soft ColdFire cores on FPGAs

Posted: 12 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:soft ColdFire cores? FPGAs? DSP? intellectual property?

Freescale Semiconductor is introducing the FPGA implementation of the 32bit V1 ColdFire core on the Altera Cyclone III family of FPGAs. IPextreme, a semiconductor intellectual property (IP) licensing specialist, will license the V1 core to Cyclone III customers free of charge through its online Core Store marketplace.

The V1 ColdFire core license provides a flexible, cost-effective solution for engineers whose design challenges cannot be addressed by standard embedded processors and SoC devices. For example, an engineer may require additional custom logic or extra communications channels to complement what is available on a standard product. The V1 core is delivered as an Altera SOPC Builder-compatible core, making it very easy for hardware engineers to create system designs quickly by leveraging other SOPC Builder peripherals.

"The marriage of the V1 core and FPGAs gives embedded developers the best of both worldsbeing able to add product differentiation without giving up a familiar, proven processor core and the ecosystem that supports that processor core," said Aiden Mitchell, consumer and industrial product manager for Freescale's microcontroller solutions group. "Industry-leading software and tools are a critical part of the selection of a 32bit core for use in an FPGA. With this V1 core licensing arrangement, Freescale's ColdFire architecture brings more than 15 years of partnerships and software support to the FPGA market."

The licensing of the ColdFire V1 core to Altera's FPGA customers provides an additional entry point into Freescale's Controller Continuum. The V1 core for Cyclone III FPGAs incorporates the same instruction set used in ColdFire MCUs based on Freescale's V1 and V4 cores.

"Time to market and product differentiation are a critical balancing act for embedded system developers," said Chris Balough, director of marketing for software, embedded and DSP at Altera. "Through the easy-to-use interface of the Altera SOPC Builder tool, developers using the Freescale V1 ColdFire core can now take advantage of the flexibility and functionality of the Altera Cyclone III FPGAs to quickly add new features to differentiate from the competition."

Hardware designers will use the Altera Quartus II design software and the SOPC Builder tool to create and integrate custom logic. Embedded software developers will be able to use the standard ColdFire development tools, including the CodeWarrior software suite, to create applications. IPextreme will provide support to customers using the V1 core on Cyclone III FPGAs.

The complimentary V1 ColdFire core for Altera's Cyclone III FPGA will be available in Q3 08. IPextreme will license and support the V1 ColdFire core to Altera customers through the Core Store. Demo boards and reference designs with working examples for V1 core-based Altera FPGA solutions also are expected to be available in Q3.

Freescale plans to demonstrate an Altera FPGA solution based on the V1 core at the Freescale Technology Forum June 16-19.

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