Actel Corp. today will release samples of its high-speed Axcelerator FPGAs that have been qualified for the full military temperature range.
The development, Actel said, will allow military and aerospace OEMs to implement interfaces like 1Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 66MHz PCI that were previously supported only in commercial and industrial-grade FPGAs or custom chips.
Simultaneously, Actel will unveil cores that perform the PCI 2.x interface and 1Gbit/s Fibre Channel transport and port controller functions.
"There's been a huge increase in requirements for bandwidth as military planners start to look for image sensors for surveillance platforms and systems that require in the range of 100Mbits per second," said Ken O'Neill, director of marketing for military and aerospace products at Actel, Mountain View, Calif.
"The Military Axcelerator family offers a whole new level of performance for designs that need components that support the entire military temperature range," O'Neill said.
New programs like the FA-18E/F strike aircraft and B-1B bomber employ 1Gbit/s Fibre Channel as a communications link between the main computer and internal systems, while 66MHz PCI is being adopted in single-board computers for ground- and sea-based military equipment.
While Actel parts are not currently being designed into these systems, the trend bodes well for acceptance of Military Axcelerator, which are the only FPGAs with enough performance to support high-speed technologies at high temperatures, O'Neill said.
"As you increase the temperature of an IC, propagation delay increases quite dramatically; a design that works at 70°C may fail at 125°C," he said. "In order to meet the Gigabit Fibre Channel and 66 PCI requirements at military temperatures, you need a very fast FPGA."
The Military Axcelerator family delivers 500MHz internal speeds and 350MHz chip-to-chip, Actel said. Four devices will offer the equivalent of 30,000 to 250,000 ASIC gates, in plastic and hermetic packages screened for the -55°C to 125°C temperature range or Mil-Std 883B.
Mil-Temp plastic parts are available now, starting at $260. Mil-Temp hermetic parts will ship in the first quarter of 2004, starting at $430. Mil-Std 883B parts are slated for the second quarter of 2004, starting at $770. Pricing is based on quantities of 5,000.
The 66MHz PCI core is priced at $4,995 for single-use RTL code, and the Fibre Channel IP is $22,000 for an Actel-optimized netlist.