Based on an agreement made with ARM in March 2005, Actel is now offering the 32-bit ARM7 for use in its products, free of license fees. The result is a lower cost of entry and enhanced access to SoC development using the ARM7 family. Actel combines its flash-based architecture and CoreMP7 in its ProASIC3 family, optimized for consumer, industrial, automotive, and high-reliability applications.
Although initially available only in ProASIC3 devices, CoreMP7 will be extended into other Actel families including those based on recently-announced Fusion technology, which incorporates analog and nonvolatile memory on a single device.
"Actel is living up to its promise to bring the ARM7 to the masses," said Dennis Kish, vice president of marketing at Actel. "With the release of CoreMP7 we are extending the reach of the ARM architecture to include markets that could not previously afford individual access to this technology. Actel, in close collaboration with ARM has combined the flexibility of Actel FPGAs with ARM's industry-standard ARM7 processor family to produce a complete and powerful, yet easy to use product for every designer."
"The unrivaled security features of Actel's nonvolatile FPGAs have enabled a soft IP version of the ARM7 architecture to be made available in a programmable logic device for the first time," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president of marketing at ARM. "In addition, this unique synergy between the ARM7 and Actel's ProASIC3 family has opened the opportunity to extend this technology to an even wider range of application and volume points."
The CoreMP7 enables system-level integration, and eliminates the long fab time and NRE of ASICs, and enables early system-level evaluation. Used in ABS, traction control, and infotainment applications in automotive; and robotics, security, and medical equipment in industrial applications, Actel's CoreMP7 is supported by such tools as those currently existing for the ARM7 family, as well as ARM RealView from Actel. It will be supported by a complete development environment that includes Actel's new CoreConsole tool, Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE), and a development kit and host of third-party tools.
The M7/ProASIC3 combo supports up to three million system gates. The devices incorporate FlashLock technology for tampering immunity. The single-chip devices also provide firm-error immunity and live at power-up (LAPU) capabilities.
Implementation of CoreMP7 in Actel's M7 ProASIC3 devices starts at $2.75 in 250K volume. The M7A3P250, M7A3PE600 and M7A3P1000 devices are currently sampling.