Programmable Logic


Internet players help drive MX FPGA design stratergy by renaming its design tool

1 March 2000 Programmable Logic

Actel Corporation says that it has shipped one million units of its MX family field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in the fourth calendar quarter of 1999. This milestone was achieved in less than two years since the initial availability of MX production devices-ramping to this volume faster than any device family in Actel's history.

With increasing frequency, Actel says its MX devices and other nonvolatile SX and SX-A FPGA families are being designed into high-volume Internet-related consumer applications, such as MP3 Internet recorder/players, digital cameras and cable television set-top boxes.

"MX has put Actel on the map in the high-volume consumer products serving the Internet market space. We see volume demand for MX, SX and SX-A devices continuing for the foreseeable future. Actel expects MX to sustain its million-unit quarterly shipments for the balance of the year," said Carl Burrow, Vice President of Marketing at Actel. "The market is now responding to the message Actel has been delivering. It is finding value in the nonvolatile, single-chip FPGA as an alternative to ASICs in high-volume production."

MX's high-volume use demonstrates the growing demand for programmable devices in consumer-use applications such as those serving the Internet. It is further evidence that electronics engineers are opting with increasing frequency for the time-to-market advantage of FPGAs over the longer lead times associated with traditional ASICs.

The six-device MX family has system gate densities ranging from 3000 to 56 000 system gates. Industry adoption of the MX family can be attributed to the number of benefits that it offers to design engineers. These include: faster time to market than traditional ASICs and a clear price-performance advantage over other competing programmable devices; no external EPROM device require- ment for design storage-saving cost and circuit board real estate and making the device live at power on, avoiding 'boot up' delays; the flexibility of true 5 V, 3,3 V and mixed-voltage support; and realtime device design debug and verifi- cation-saving design time and further shortening time to market. In addition, the MX family offers all of the advantages of Actel's nonvolatile antifuse technology over any other programmable alternative, including extremely high in-system device reliability and high application security.



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