Good grief – things are certainly racing along in "FPGA Space". For example, in order to address design requirements for programmable solutions that meet ever-tightening power and cost budgets, the folks at Actel
have just announced the addition of two new members to their IGLOO and ProASIC3 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) families. The big news is that these devices start at just 99 cents!
Comparable in density to 128 macrocell complex programmable logic device
(CPLD) offerings, the new 15,000-gate devices offer power consumption as low as 5 microwatts (5 µW), which is 10 times less static power than more expensive CPLDs.
The new IGLOO AGL015 and ProASIC3 A3P015 FPGAs are said to provide a lower-cost, lower-power alternative to low-density FPGAs and CPLDs in consumer, medical, communications and industrial applications, such as portable media players, smart phones, memory card interfaces, system controllers, portable medical devices, and wireless sensors.
Low-power, low-cost options for feature-rich portable design
Attractive for portable applications, Actel's IGLOO FPGAs are claimed to consume more than 200× less static power than competitive FPGA offerings and deliver more than 10× the battery life of the current leading PLDs in portable applications.
Consuming as little as 5 µW of static power and 50 percent less dynamic power than Actel's 30,000-gate AGL030 device, the IGLOO AGL015 device supports both 1.2- and 1.5-volt operation and offers up to 250 MHz system performance, 49 available I/Os, and 1 kilobit (Kb) of
nonvolatile Flash ROM.
Meanwhile, the 1.5-volt ProASIC3 A3P015 device offers up to 350 MHz system performance, 49 I/Os, and 1 Kb of nonvolatile Flash ROM.
To allow for further system cost, power and area reductions, the new IGLOO and ProASIC3 FPGAs offer the ability to bridge between two different I/O voltages levels and 1 Kb of on-chip memory, potentially eliminating the need for discrete devices. Employed in both the ProASIC3 and IGLOO architectures is a unique "Versatile" core cell that is automatically used as combinatorial or sequential logic by the Actel Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE), thereby enabling more efficient routing, flexibility, and device utilization when compared with
fixed-architecture CPLD solutions.
Availability and pricing
The IGLOO AGL015 and ProASIC3 A3P015 FPGAs will sample in March 2008 with volume production in Q2 2008. The devices are offered in 8×8 mm single-row quad flat no-lead (QFN) packages, thereby minimizing printed circuit board (PCB) costs.
The devices are supported by the Actel Libero IDE v8.2 SP1. Device pricing starts at $0.99 for the A3P015 and AGL015 devices in volume. For further information, please contact Actel or visit the company's Web site at www.actel.com.