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New Actel Low-Cost Starter Kit Demonstrates Secure In-System Programmability of ProASIC3/E FPGAs

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Giving developers of high volume applications the capability to incorporate secure in-system programmability (ISP) for the first time in their products, Actel Corporation today announced immediate availability of the ProASIC3 starter kit and sampling of its 250K-gate A3P250 field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Actel unveiled dual versions of the starter kit to ease design implementation and offer low-cost, full-speed programming for the A3P250 device. Available in both a prototyping and a low-cost evaluation version, the starter kit allows the exploration of the architectural features unique to the ProASIC3/E family, including secure ISP and live at power-up capability.

The A3P250 device is the latest addition to Actel's ProASIC3/E family, the industry's lowest cost FPGA family and the only single-chip device family with secure ISP, via 128-bit AES encryption. The A3P250 device is an attractive programmable logic solution for a range of high-volume, value-based applications in the consumer, industrial, medical, communications and automotive markets.

"With the announcement of immediate availability of the low cost starter kit and our A3P250 device, Actel continues to execute its plan to roll-out the ProASIC3, the industry's only true flash-based FPGA solution," said Martin Mason, director of flash product marketing, Actel.

A3P250 Device Delivers Price, Performance and Secure ISP Advantages

In addition to market-leading lowest total system cost, the single-chip 250K-gate A3P250 FPGA contains 1024 bits (128 bits x 8 pages) of on-chip user nonvolatile flash memory and six clock conditioning circuits, one with on-board phase-locked loop (PLL). The A3P250 supports four I/O banks with up to 157 I/Os and advanced I/O standards including PCI, LVDS and LVPECL. For power-conscious customers, the A3P250 devices deliver stand-by power consumption of only 3mA under typical conditions.

The A3P250 device provides secure ISP capability through on-chip 128-bit AES decryption and built-in flash key storage technology. Because an AES decryption key is required to reverse engineer the encrypted configuration bitstream for a ProASIC3 device, attempts to copy designs through the interception of the bitstream are futile. The AES-encrypted programming file allows easy and secure field upgrades for Actel ProASIC3/E devices.

Features of the ProASIC3/E Starter Kit

The starter kit is available in two versions. The "EVAL" kit includes an A3P250 FPGA soldered directly to an evaluation board, providing customers a low-cost solution to validate the performance of the device. The "PROTO" kit includes a socket-equipped evaluation board, allowing 9 of the 10 devices in the ProASIC3/E family to be evaluated with the "PROTO" kit.

The "PROTO" and "EVAL" boards both contain an alphanumeric LCD display and provide CAT5E connectors to demonstrate the high-speed LVDS functionality of the A3P250 (and larger) devices within the ProASIC3/E family.

Multiple starter kits may also be connected together in a JTAG chain to demonstrate multiple-device programming via a single programmer connection. This feature facilitates a seamless connection to other JTAG-based systems that the end-user may be developing.

The starter kit contains a high-speed FlashPro3 programmer, which interfaces to a PC via a USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 interface, Actel's Libero Gold 6.2 Integrated Design Environment (IDE) software, USB cable, programming cable, power supply, tutorials and support documentation in addition to the starter kit board.

Pricing and Availability

Volume pricing for the ProASIC3 family starts at $1.50 in 250K quantities. Samples of the A3P250 device are available now. The new ProASIC3/E starter kits are also available now. The "PROTO" kit is priced at $449 and the "EVAL" kit is priced at $349.

Jueves, 01 Septiembre, 2005 - 08:07
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