Well, this is good news and it shows that things are going forward in a positive direction – the folks at Altium and the guys and gals at Microsemi’s SoC Products Group (formerly known as Actel) have just announced that Altium will provide its Altium Designer software as an option to customers using Microsemi’s SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs.
SmartFusion is the only device that integrates an FPGA, a hard ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontroller subsystem (MSS), and programmable analog fabric on a single chip, offering full customization, IP protection, and ease-of-use. Altium Designer was selected as a design solution partner because of its ability to address system design by combining PCB, embedded software development, and FPGA design in one unified system.
Personally I think that this is a great move – Altium Designer’s support of SmartFusion FPGAs will open these up and make them available to a much wider audience, because one of the things about designing FPGAs using Altium Designer is that you can do so without having to know Verilog or VHDL (although you can design using an HDL if you wish).
“Altium Designer is an electronics system design platform that is versatile enough to cover PCB, FPGA and embedded software development with ARM processor support,” said Rich Kapusta, vice president of marketing, SoC Products Group at Microsemi. “This will not only benefit our existing SmartFusion customers by offering an additional design option, but will broaden our market access, given Altium’s unified design platform approach.”
Altium’s SmartFusion device support makes full use of its unified design platform, which lets designers work across all design domains – hardware, software and programmable hardware – with one solution, and have all these domains work together, not just alongside each other. SmartFusion device support will be included in the standard design flow, making it accessible to any Altium Designer customer. “Adding SmartFusion device support to Altium Designer provides a quick and easy way for our customers to harness the power of these highly innovative new devices. The combination of FPGA fabric, programmable analog support and an embedded ARM processor provides an exceptional platform for implementation of design ideas,”
said Nick Martin, CEO of Altium.
The collaboration debuts at the Altium booth #412 at the ARM Technology Conference in the Santa Clara Convention Center Nov. 9-11, 2010. Customers, journalists and analysts can also learn more about Altium’s SmartFusion device support at ARM TechCon Session SS-AL05.
More information on Altium Designer, including previews into the forthcoming new release, is on Altium’s web site at www.Altium.com