Actel Corporation has announced the immediate availability of the Actel Fusion Programmable System Chip (PSC), the world's first mixed-signal FPGA family. By integrating mixed-signal analog, Flash memory, and FPGA fabric in a monolithic PSC, the Actel Fusion devices enable designers to quickly move from concept to completed design and deliver feature-rich systems to market. The Actel Fusion PSCs bring the benefits of programmable logic to a wide range of application areas – including power management, smart battery charging, clock generation and management, and motor control – that until now have only been served by either costly and space-consuming discrete analog components or mixed-signal ASIC solutions.
1. Main components of the Fusion PSC.
Actel Fusion PSCs offer new capabilities for system development by allowing designers to integrate a wide range of functionality into a single device while at the same time offering the flexibility of upgrades in the field or deep in the production cycle. Fusion devices provide an excellent alternative to costly and time-consuming mixed-signal ASIC design. And when used in conjunction with Actel's ARM7 and 8051-based soft MCU cores, the Actel Fusion technology represents the definitive PSC platform.
Actel's Flash-based Fusion technology offers the advantages of "instant on" coupled with low static and dynamic power consumption. Furthermore, Fusion PSCs feature a state-saving low power sleep mode coupled with a real-time clock (RTC) for periodic wake-up if required. Of particular interest is the fact that, during operation, the analog portions of the device can be reconfigured for such aspects as dynamic range selection. This is extremely powerful, especially when used in conjunction with an embedded ARM or 8051-based soft MCU core. For example, if the MCU core observes a fast moving signal, it may decide to reconfigure the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) sequencer to over-sample the signal.
A wide range of potential applications
Features such as ±12V analog inputs; temperature, current, and voltage sensing; an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) of up to 12 bits that supports up to 600K samples-per-second; high-current outputs (PWM / FET), and 5V digital input support mean that Actel's Fusion PSCs are applicable to a wide range of potential applications, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Power and temperature management
- Power sequencing with tracking control
- Smart battery charging
- Voltage, current, temperature monitors and alarms
- Fan and heat-element control and monitoring
- Intelligent platform management interface (IPMI)
- Motor and motion control
- Motor control – stepper, 3-phase, and solenoid control
- Anti-lock brakes
- System initialization and configuration
- Context save and restore
- Context switching
- System boot codes
- Program code storage
- EEPROM emulation
- Data acquisition and logging
- Low power and clocking
- Control for sleep mode and wake-up
- Live at power-up clock generation, conditioning, and distribution
Actel Fusion PSCs deliver the core analog blocks required for applications in the industrial, medical, military/aerospace, communications, consumer, and automotive markets. For power-sensitive applications, Actel Fusion PSCs offer ultra low-power sleep and stand-by modes and are specifically designed to handle Level 0 LAPU system supervisory activities, such as system board power-up sequencing and configuration.
A more detailed look "under the hood"
Actel Fusion PSCs integrate a configurable 12-bit successive approximation register (SAR) analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with frequencies up to 600 ksps. The flexible analog block supports MOSFET gate driver output and multiple analog inputs from -12 volts to up to +12 volts with optional prescaler, thus enabling direct connection and control of a wide variety of analog systems such as a voltage, differential current or temperature monitor.
The Actel Fusion PSC family is the only programmable logic solution to include embedded Flash memory – up to 1 Mbyte per device. This Flash memory offers 60-nanosecond random access and a very fast 100MHz access in read-ahead mode. The high performance Flash memory offers a user configurable data bus supporting x8, x16 and x32 bit widths. The memory also offers error correction circuitry (ECC) with single-bit error fix and two-bit error-detect capabilities. Pseudo EEPROM can be achieved with an available endurance extender IP available from Actel. Further, the Actel Fusion PSCs give designers high levels of flexibility by allowing them to easily reconfigure analog block settings to perform widely different functions by simply downloading data from embedded flash memory.
Pricing and availability
The Actel Fusion PSC family includes four devices of varying gate densities, levels of embedded flash, and analog channels. Actel's AFS600 Fusion PSCs are available immediately. Pricing for the Fusion PSC family of products start below $5.00 each in 250K quantities. Starter kits, reference designs, and software tools are also available now.
For more information on Fusion PSCs, visit www.actel.com; for more information on pricing and availability, contact your local sales representative.