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Starter kit tests FPGA transceiver signal quality

Posted: 06 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:starter kit? FPGA? transceiver? PCIe?

Cyclone IV GX-based transceiver starter kit

Altera Corp. has begun production shipment of its Cyclone IV FPGAs, which are designed for cost-sensitive, small form-factor applications in the wireless, wireline, broadcast, industrial and consumer markets. The devices combine low cost and 25 percent lower power compared to the previous generation of Cyclone products, and high functionality that addresses high-volume, low-cost serial protocol solution needs.

"By offering Cyclone IV GX FPGAs in production shipments up to six months earlier than competing products, our customers can realize the cost, power and unique board space benefits of these devices," said Luanne Schirrmeister, senior director of component marketing at Altera. "Also, the availability of our Starter Kit gives designers confidence knowing that Cyclone IV GX devices have proven to be interoperable with other PCIe chipsets."

The company also announced the availability of the Cyclone IV GX-based transceiver starter kit, which features an EP4CGX15 FPGA with approximately 15K logic elements, 540Kbit of RAM and two integrated 2.5Gbit/s transceivers. Cyclone IV GX devices support mainstream serial protocols and offer designers a rich supply of logic, memory and I/O capabilities.

This low-cost transceiver starter kit priced at $395 includes all the hardware, software, design examples and documentation necessary to easily develop an FPGA design for cost-sensitive applications. It also allows designers to measure the FPGA's low power consumption, test the signal quality of the FPGA transceivers, and develop and test PCIe 1.0 endpoint designs by using Altera's PCIe hard intellectual property. In addition, the kit can be used with the Quartus II Web Edition design software where no license is required.

The smallest Cyclone IV devices, the EP4CE6 and the EP4CGX15, will start as low as $3 and $6 respectively for 250K unit quantities.

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