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Military-qualified FPGAs 'first' with on-chip flash memory

Posted: 14 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flash-based FPGA? military-qualified? SRAM? flash memory?


Extending the low power and reliability benefits of its higher density flash-based FPGA technologies, Actel Corp. has added new ProASIC3 and ProASIC3EL FPGAs to its military-qualified product offerings.

Verified to operate across the full military temperature range (-55C to +125C), the new low-power devices are immune to neutron-induced configuration upsets ("firm errors"), saving board space and minimizing complexity in the system. Actel says the devices enables designers to eliminate the higher power consumption and failure risks often associated with SRAM-based FPGAs for a wide range of military, aerospace and avionics applications.

Powerful solution
On a per-gate basis, competitive SRAM-based FPGAs consume 60 percent higher dynamic power and 100x more static power than ProASIC3L devices. The largest part in the Intersil's military-qualified offering, the 3-million gate A3PE3000L, consumes 310mW at 100MHz and 2.75mW in static mode, making it suitable for thermally challenged and space-constrained applications. Says the company, integrated, secure in-system programming (ISP) support enables valuable field programming upgrades.

Ranging in density from 600,000 to 3 million system gates, Actel's low-power military-temperature ProASIC3 and ProASIC3L FPGAs deliver 64bit 66MHz PCI performance. Claimed to be the industry's first FPGAs with on-chip user flash memory, the 1.2V to 1.5V military-qualified devices are immune to neutron-induced firm errors, which are receiving growing recognition in the aerospace community as a significant reliability threat at aviation altitudes. Devices also feature Actel's unique ultralow-power Flash*Freeze mode, which allows fast switching (within 1?s) between active and static states.

"Military and avionics systems, such as mission computers, navigation and guidance systems, and stores management systems often have limited or no forced cooling, requiring electronics with minimal heat dissipation and very low power consumption," said Ken O'Neill, director of marketing, high-reliability products for Actel. "Our high-density, military-temperature ProASIC3 and ProASIC3EL devices give designers the increased logic they need for their sophisticated military and aerospace applications. The combination of low power and high reliability provides an extremely desirable solution for these systems."

The A3P1000-PQ208M and A3P1000-FG144M are qualified and shipping now. Actel expects the remaining devices to be qualified by year-end. All devices will be offered in military-temperature plastic packages. Standard and Dash-1 speed grades will be available for most devices.

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