SAN JOSE -- In an attempt to solidify its position as the product-term leader, Altera Corp. here haslaunched its entire MAX 7000B family of programmable logic devices (PLDs), hailed as the industry's first 2.5-V product-term-based devices.
The move comes amid a growing segmentation of the programmable-logic market
into extreme high-density parts, and those that are less complex but have
blazingly fast I/O speeds. On the lower complexity product-term side where there
are more players, competition for bragging rights is fierce, market watchers said.
Altera accelerated the launch schedule of the MAX 7000B family
after the March roll-out of the initial part, EPM7128, was well received by
customers in its core market of communications. Four of the five family members
are now shipping in samples or volume, with the final device, EPM7032B, slated
to begin sampling this month.
The 512-macrocell family builds in features, such as GTL+ and SSTL I/Os,
specifically to address the speed requirements of high-end communications
systems, said Erik Cleage, senior vice president of marketing at Altera.
"We continue to see strong growth and increasing customer demand for the MAX
architecture in markets such as wireless, wired, and optical-communications
systems," Cleage said.
The MAX 7000B family addresses the needs of these customers with even greater
performance, and lower price and power consumption than its successor, the
3.3-V MAX 7000A, he added.
The devices operate at a core voltage of 2.5 V, and feature the MultiVolt
interface that enables them to talk to 3.3-, 2.5-, and 1.8-V devices without
requiring additional logic. Hot-insertion is also supported, as is in-system
Altera's MAX+Plus II development system, which supports the company's entire
MAX product line, integrates with EDA tools from a number of leading vendors.
The E+MAX software package, which supports MAX 7000 devices, specifically,
can be downloaded for free from Altera's Web site.
The MAX 7000B devices-including the EPM7512B, EPM7256B, EPM7128B,
EPM7064B, and EPM7032B-are priced starting at $1.75, based on high-volume
orders. Packaging options include 100- and 144-pin TQFP, 100- and 256-pin
FineLine BGAs, and 49- and 169-pin Ultra FineLine BGAs.