As part of their mission to provide a platform for innovation in the automotive electronics market, the folks at Altera have announced that they will begin shipping automotive-grade devices for selected members of their CPLD, FPGA and structured ASIC device families.
The automotive-grade specification meets stringent automotive-specific quality and reliability standards. This is the latest in a series of developments by Altera to supply automotive OEMs the ability to build scalable platforms for emerging automotive infotainment, networking, and driver-assistance applications.
Unlike ASICs and ASSPs, these platforms are easily differentiated across various vehicle classes. Using programmable logic solutions, automotive products can accommodate feature needs that are changing faster than typical automotive design cycles and faster than ASSP products.
Selected members of Altera's product families are designated automotive grade, including the MAX 7000AE and MAX II CPLDs; Cyclone, Cyclone II, and Cyclone III FPGAs; and HardCopy II structured ASICs.
The folks at Altera say that their low-cost Cyclone III FPGAs are the industry's only automotive-grade FPGAs at the 65 nm node; also that their HardCopy II structured ASICs are the industry's only automotive-grade structured ASICs.
Altera's automotive-grade devices are ISO/TS16949 compliant, meeting ISO 9001:2000, automotive and customer-specific requirements. All of Altera's manufacturing partners are TS16949 certified and registered, which includes wafer fabrication locations (TSMC) and packaging and test partners (ASE and AMKOR).
Altera's automotive-grade products are tested according to AEC-Q100 specifications, support the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) and have an operating junction temperature range from –40°C to +125°C.
The foundation of Altera's automotive strategy is the PARIS development platform, which is claimed to be the automotive industry's only fully scalable development platform. Announced in October 2007 – and jointly developed by Altera and TRS-STAR – the FPGA-based PARIS platform is designed to enable the easy integration of pre-approved intellectual property (IP) from Altera and partners and facilitate the fast and efficient development of automotive electronics applications.
The PARIS platform allows automotive OEMs to port their designs into a production-qualified FPGA or migrate to a low-cost, high-performance HardCopy II structured ASIC.
Available IP cores include Altera's Nios II and ARM's M1 Cortex embedded processors, as well as digital signal processing (DSP) and video and imaging IP suites, and support for the latest automotive networking standards such as CAN, MOST, LIN, and FlexRay.
Altera is accepting customer orders for its automotive-grade products today. The PARIS development platform is offered by TRS-STAR and is currently being evaluated by beta customers. For more information about Altera's automotive solutions, visit www.altera.com/automotive. For more information about the PARIS platform, visit www.ge-research.de/automotive.html.