Actel Corporation announced the availability of a flexible, low-cost starter kit for its antifuse-based, high-performance Axcelerator field-programmable gate array (FPGA) devices. Available in both a basic evaluation and an advanced prototyping version, the Axcelerator Starter Kit features an evaluation board equipped with Actel's AX250-PQ208 Axcelerator device, the Libero Gold Integrated Design Environment (IDE), tutorials and support documentation.
The advanced prototyping kit also includes a programming socket module adapter and a six-month loaner program certificate for the company's Silicon Sculptor II programmer. With the advanced version, users can navigate through the entire design process, from HDL to programming, while exploring the inherent benefits of the Axcelerator devices, including high performance, low-power consumption and high security for a variety of applications. Additionally, starter kit users will be able to submit custom Axcelerator designs and receive free, programmed samples witthin 24 hours, if North-American based, via Actel's new Online Prototyping Service (OPS).
"With today's introduction of the Axcelerator Starter Kit, Actel builds upon its continued commitment to provide customers with complete, easy-to-use solutions for some of today's toughest design challenges," said Saloni Howard-Sarin, director of antifuse and tools marketing at Actel.
"Increasingly, designs require the utmost in performance and reliability, and with this one-stop starter kit, Axcelerator's rich combination of benefits, such as high performance, low power, high security and immunity to costly firm errors can be implemented more quickly and at a better value than ever before."
Combining Flexibility and Ease-of-Use
Providing added flexibility, the evaluation board is fitted with a PQ208 socket, enabling designers to interchange the AX250-PQ208 with the larger AX500-PQ208 device without changing boards. A prototyping area is also provided on the board to allow for use with a greater variety of customer designs. Additionally, to familiarize users with the key features of Actel's Axcelerator devices, the AX250 device arrives pre-programmed with a demonstration application and all source files.
A Complete Solution
Actel's Libero 6.0 IDE offers best-in-class tools from EDA partners Mentor Graphics, SynaptiCAD, Synplicity and Magma Design Automation, as well as custom developed tools from Actel, integrated into a single FPGA development package. The programming socket module adapter, included with the advanced prototyping kit, allows users to program their Axcelerator design using Actel's Silicon Sculptor II programmer, a compact programming solution with stand-alone software for the PC. End users who do not have access to the programmer can use the six-month loaner program certificate to take full advantage of the Axcelerator Starter Kit without incurring any additional costs.
About the Axcelerator Device Family
Built upon the company's AX architecture, the antifuse-based Axcelerator family delivers better than 500 MHz internal operation and up to 100 percent resource utilization. Additionally, the company's live at power-up, single-chip Axcelerator FPGAs avoid in-rush current spikes, simplify system power supply design and generally offer lower standby and dynamic power consumption than competing solutions. The devices offer levels of design security beyond SRAM-based offerings and conventional ASIC solutions, enabling designers to safeguard against common security problems, including overbuilding, cloning, reverse engineering and denial of service. Firm errors, which occur when high-energy neutrons generated in the upper atmosphere strike the configuration cells of SRAM-based FPGAs, can be impossible to prevent.
Because the antifuse configuration cannot be altered once programmed, firm errors in Axcelerator FPGAs are nonexistent.
Pricing and Availability
The Axcelerator Starter Kit will be available in both basic evaluation and advanced prototyping versions for $249 and $695 respectively. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel.