SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Actel Corp. today announced it has broken the 1-million gate barrier in flash-based field-programmable gate arrays with the introduction of a 0.22-micron FPGA series that will initially contain six devices.
The new ProASIC Plus second-generation family of flash-based nonvolatile FPGAs will offer chip densities of 150,000-to-1 million "system gates," said Actel. The new series combines a fine-grain ASIC-like architecture with nonvolatile flash-configured logic, making the programmable chips a viable alternative for custom and semicustom application-specific ICs, according to the Sunnyvale company.
"A huge market opportunity exists for Actel to directly address those FPGA and ASIC designers looking for the density range, flexibility, ASIC-like design methodology and non-volatility they require," said Barry Marsh, vice president of product marketing at Actel. He said the new ProASIC Plus series also offer design security features that will protect intellectual property in applications.
The ProASIC Plus FPGAs are user programmed with a multi-bit key that blocks external attempts to read or alter the configuration settings, Actel said. Decapping and stripping of the ProASIC Plus device reveals only the structure of the flash cell, not the contents, the company said.
New features in the ProASIC Plus series include multiple phase-locked loops (PLLs), support for up to 198 kilobits of two-port embedded SRAM and 712 user-configurable I/Os, and improved in-system programmability. The ProASIC Plus programmable parts can support system speeds of up to100 MHz and interface between 3.3- and 2.5-V devices in mixed-voltage environments, Actel said
The first members in the ProASIC Plus family, the APA750 and APA1000, offer 750,000- and 1-million system gates, respectively. These chips are now available as engineering samples, with production scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2002. Pricing for the 750,000- and 1-million gate devices begins at $199 and $399 each in volume quantities, respectively.
Actel said the rest of the new series is expected to be available for sampling by the second quarter with pricing targeted at $20 for the smallest devices.