Altera Corporation announced it is shipping version 4.2 of its Quartus II design software, delivering the world's highest performance for FPGAs and CPLDs. Quartus II software version 4.2 delivers an average of 39 percent higher performance on 90-nm Stratix II FPGAs when compared to Virtex-4, 60 percent on 90-nm Cyclone II FPGAs when compared to Spartan-3, and 50 percent on MAX II CPLDs when compared to CoolRunner-II. Details on Altera's performance leadership, including details of the third-party-endorsed benchmarking studies, can be found at www.altera.com/alterazone.
"Quartus II software delivers clear performance leadership, as well as superior ease of use," said Chris Balough, Altera's director of software and tools marketing. "It's no surprise that Altera's design-win momentum is accelerating and why Quartus II software received the first annual FPGA and Programmable Logic Journal reader's choice award as the industry's best programmable logic development software."
New PowerPlay Power Management Features
With this latest version of Quartus II software, Altera introduces the PowerPlay technology suite, the industry's most advanced tools for programmable logic power analysis and optimization. The analysis features included in the PowerPlay suite offer detailed estimates of static and dynamic power, and assist a designer during the entire design cycle, from design conception through implementation.
Designers can use the PowerPlay early power estimator spreadsheet at the outset of a project to estimate static and dynamic power consumption. During the implementation phase, designers can refine power estimations by using the new PowerPlay power analyzer tool, which improves estimation accuracy by combining an advanced "vectorless power analysis" algorithm with place-and-route results. If optional functional simulation vectors or gate-level simulation vector input are also used, designers can expect even more accurate estimations.
The PowerPlay analyzer tool also offers the industry's most detailed insight into a design's power consumption profile, allowing a designer to scrutinize total power by design resource or hierarchy. Armed with this data, designers can quickly target optimization efforts to meet power budgets.
Throughout 2005, additional features will be added to the PowerPlay suite, including automated optimization tools. The PowerPlay power optimization tools will provide designers with an efficient, automated way to optimize power consumption in FPGA, CPLD, and structured ASIC designs.
In addition to the new PowerPlay technology, version 4.2 also includes over 100 new features and enhancements to support advanced FPGA, CPLD, and structured ASIC designs. Highlights of these new features include:
New Implementation and Timing Analysis Features " New features analyze and control clock skew and data skew, allow designers to model clock jitter, and enable better analysis and optimization of register control signals.
SOPC Builder Multi-Clock Domain Support " SOPC Builder includes new features to support effortless integration of systems with components operating in multiple clock domains.
RTL-to-Gates Formal Verification " Supports new RTL-to-gates functional equivalency checking with the Cadence Conformal LEC formal verification software.
Pricing and Availability
Both the Subscription Edition and the Web Edition of Quartus II version 4.2 design software are now available. The Subscription Edition is now shipping to all customers with an active software subscription. The free Quartus II Web Edition software is available by download or from the free Quartus II Web Edition Software Suite CD. The annual subscription for the Altera design software is $2,000 for a node-locked PC license.
Altera's software subscription program simplifies the process of obtaining Altera design software by consolidating software products and maintenance charges into one annual subscription payment. Quartus II design software supports major operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Sun Solaris8 and 9, Red Hat Linux 7.3, 8.0 and Enterprise 3.0 WS,, and HP-UX 11.0.
New or existing customers may obtain a software subscription on line on the Altera web site, www.altera.com, or from Altera distributors worldwide.