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Altera CPLDs are Olymic-bound

Posted: 25 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MAX II CPLDs? Beijing Olympics? programmable logic device?

Altera Corp.'s MAX II CPLDs are going to the Olympics. Shenzhen Huayu Communications Technology Co. Ltd selected MAX IIZ for use in its P1200 portable handsets at this year's Olympics for identification, logistics and public transportation services.

With a goal of integrating such disparate elements as an RFID reader, IR data association (IRDA) sensor, Bluetooth interface and LED control to the main processor, Huayu selected MAX IIZ over a MCU solution based on the CPLD's security, power and cost advantages. In this case, the time-to-market features of a CPLD are very apparent. MAX IIZ was announced in December, shipped initially in February, and housed in the Huayu P1200 handset debut during the Hangzhou public transportation system's bicycle project in May; in August, they will be used at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Rapid implementation of new features, and ever-shorter design cycles are pushing an increasing number of designers from ASICs to CPLDs. Product differentiationthe ability to rapidly offer products that feature innovation rather than those that compete strictly on priceis better enabled by CPLD features. For example, in addition to striking gold in the Olympics, MAX IIZ is used in Leapfrog's handset for TV-out capabilities, and power consumption reduction. Choices in this case were between a DSP and MAX II CPLD. Less expensive than a DSP, as video conversion requires only a small subset of full DSP functionality, MAX II also provided lower power consumption. Finally, DSPs are mask-programmed by the factory making it impossible to make changes after programming compared with the reprogrammability of a CPLD.

Altera also points to such other consumer products as the Leapfrog Leapster L-MAX and Toshiba's Gigabeat where MAX II CPLDS are also used. Two unnamed companies are using it for e-paper readers and flexible displays for mobile devices. In some cases, the MAX II was chosen vs. a DSP, and in others it was chosen for auto shut-off capabilities or low standby and active power.

Altera claims that the MAX IIZ family delivers the lowest power consumption of any existing CPLD, and the highest amount of user-customizable logic resources per board area and design security.

- Carolyn Mathas
Mobile Handset DesignLine

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