12 May 2003 Sunnyvale, CA Lightwave--Actel Corp. today announced the production qualification of its AX1000, AX500, AX250 and AX125 field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), part of the Axcelerator device family. Built upon the company's AX architecture, the FPGAs offer better than 500-MHz internal operation and up to 100% resource utilization.
These live at power-up FPGAs avoid in-rush current spikes, simplify system power supply design and generally enable Actel to offer lower standby and dynamic power consumption than competing solutions. Other benefits include immunity to firm errors and design security. Actel is also announcing the availability of a PCI-X intellectual property (IP) core and evaluation board optimized for Axcelerator FPGAs.
Firm errors occur when high-energy neutrons generated in the upper atmosphere strike the configuration cell of an SRAM FPGA. The energy of the collision can change the state of the configuration cell and thus change the logic and/or routing of the FPGA in an unpredictable and uncontrollable way. As a result, these errors are impossible to prevent when using SRAM FPGAs, costly to detect, and could result in system failure. Because the configuration element of Axcelerator FPGAs, the antifuse, cannot be altered once programmed, firm errors are nonexistent.
Actel's nonvolatile Axcelerator devices offer levels of design security beyond SRAM-based FPGAs and conventional ASIC solutions. Further, the combination of Actel's secure FuseLock programming technology and the lack of an external bitstream enables designers to safeguard against common security problems faced by developers using conventional SRAM devices, including overbuilding, cloning, reverse engineering and denial of service.
Fully qualified AX1000, AX500, AX250 and AX125 devices are available now in production quantities with prices beginning below $10 in quantities of 100,000 or more. The AX2000, which offers 2-million system gates, is sampling and expected to be qualified in the third quarter of this year.