The folks at Altium continue to develop and expand their Innovation Station. This combines the Altium Designer unified design software with the Desktop NanoBoard reconfigurable hardware platform to bring device intelligence design solutions to electronics engineers.
At ESC, in California's Silicon Valley, Altium started to show a range of new FPGA daughter boards and additional plug-in peripheral boards for the Altium Innovation Station. This significantly adds to the range of target devices and peripheral functionality already available as part of the Altium Innovation Station.
The new daughter boards have the following programmable devices:
- Xilinx Virtex-5
- Xilinx Spartan-3AN
- Xilinx Spartan-3A DSP
- Actel ProASIC3
These join the existing daughter boards that cover Xilinx Virtex-4, Xilinx Spartan-3, Altera Cyclone II, and Lattice ECP FPGAs.
Altium is also expanding its range of peripheral boards, which now includes the following:
- 6-channel, single-sized, multi-network interface power control and monitoring board.
- 12-channel, double-sized, multi-network interface power control and monitoring board.
- Audio/video board targeted at AV connectivity with Apple-compatible VGA-style interface, iPod-compatible AV ports, and composite video in/out.
- Quad-band GSM and GPS board.
- Bluetooth, Zigbee and 802.11 wireless board.
These add to the Compact flash/ATA/SD board, USB/IrDA/Ethernet board, and double-sized VGA/Composite/S-Video board that come standard with the Desktop NanoBoard.
Expanding the range of plug-in boards means that designers will have more options to create device intelligence without being constrained by having to choose a final programmable device and peripheral functionality before the design process begins. The Altium Innovation Station lets designers assess and compare different devices and implementations on the fly – they simply swap plug-in boards, and the Altium Innovation Station auto-configures the design and development platform to accommodate the new devices.
The Altium Innovation Station provides a high level of design abstraction, which allows all designers, even those with limited or no FPGA design experience, to use the potential of programmable devices. For example, they can create functionality by graphically linking ready-to-use functional blocks together. And they can accelerate application execution by transparently moving C-level software functions into dynamically generated FPGA hardware.
Pricing and availability
The Altium Innovation Station, consisting of Altium Designer and the Desktop NanoBoard (with three standard peripheral boards and a choice of one FPGA daughter board), is available now from US$4,300.