Programmable Logic


Magitron LED screens leverage high-performance, low-power FPGAs

24 April 2002 Programmable Logic

NetVision, a supplier of products and services for giant light-emitting diode (LED) screens, has chosen Actel's A54SX72A antifuse field-programmable gate array (FPGA) device for its new Magitron range of giant colour outdoor LEDs. The screens use Actel nonvolatile SX-A FPGAs for display circuit control and colour correction management.

"The Magitron circuit design specifications required a logic integration device that offered high performance, design security and low power consumption. Actel's SX-A FPGAs met this need perfectly," said Claude Poirier, CEO at NetVision. "Further, with Actel's A54SX72A, we were able to integrate all of the digital functions into one FPGA, resulting in an 80% reduction in the number of components as well as a significant cost saving."

NetVision's Magitron screens consist of multiple 1024-pixel modules to obtain display areas of up to 300 m2 for broadcasting sporting events or programmes on the giant screen, displaying electronic advertisements, traffic reports or video. Using the same SX-A, NetVision offers a range of products from 6 to 20 mm pitch LED displays for indoor or outdoor applications.

As the complexity, capabilities and market share of FPGAs increases, the need to secure the intellectual property implemented therein increases. Nonvolatile antifuse FPGAs, like the SX-A family, are more secure against attack than the application- specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technologies they are replacing. The A54SX72A device selected by NetVision is extremely secure, preventing copying or reverse engineering of the design.

The SX-A family offers a fine-grained antifuse architecture similar to a masked gate array. This provides a high-performance, low-cost solution for communications, consumer and industrial applications. With devices up to 108 000 system gates and speeds up to 250 MHz system performance, the SX-A family is also 66 MHz PCI compliant.

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



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