Programmable Logic


Embedded system platform reduces 8051-based development cost and design time

5 November 2003 Programmable Logic

Actel has introduced an integrated platform solution initially consisting of six popular pre-integrated and pre-verified intellectual property (IP) cores. Called Platform8051, it is optimised for use with Actel field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and enables a flexible, cost-effective, highly integrated embedded system for consumer, communications, industrial, automotive, military and aerospace applications. The company says that designers may specify any configuration of the industry-standard IP cores, including Actel's new Core8051 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) and a range of peripherals, and within one day receive the platform design files via a Web-based delivery system.

Also available is the Platform8051 Development Kit that includes the IP cores, software tools and target silicon needed to implement this unique platform solution.

"By integrating a variety of key peripherals with an MCU core on a single FPGA, Actel enables the embedded system designer to achieve a highly differentiated system-on-chip design for a fraction of the time and expense required to develop an ASIC," said Yankin Tanurhan, senior director, Applications and IP Solutions Group at Actel. "The 8051 is the world's leading 8-bit MCU architecture, and with this integrated platform, designers can use Actel FPGAs to quickly create new products. Likewise, Platform8051 enables designers to easily migrate current board-level designs onto a single FPGA to dramatically reduce system costs."

The initial Platform8051 IP family includes Core8051, along with popular DirectCore peripheral IP including: Core10/100 - 10/100 Mbps Ethernet core, an Ethernet-protocol transceiver/controller CoreI2C - Standard Inter-Integrated Circuit core, a two-wire master/slave serial interface CoreSPI - Serial Peripheral Interface core, a point-to-point master/slave serial interface CoreSDLC - Synchronous Data Link Controller core, a high-speed synchronous serial interface Core16X50 - universal asynchronous receiver transmitter (UART) core, a serial communications controller.

According to Actel, the cores are thoroughly verified and tested in software simulation and hardware and have been proven in customer designs. Customers can purchase the complete set or any combination of the cores, depending on individual requirements.

Platform8051 can be used with many Actel FPGA families, including ProASIC Plus, Axcelerator, SX-A and RTSX-S, to quickly deliver highly integrated 8051-based products without the high non-recurring engineering (NRE) fees associated with ASIC designs.

For more information contact Kobus van Rooyen, ASIC Design Services, 011 315 8316, kobus@asic.co.za



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