San Jose, Calif., February 1, 2010 - Building on its history of technology leadership, Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) announced today new innovations that will be incorporated into upcoming 28-nm FPGAs. Embedded HardCopy Blocks, a new method for partial reconfiguration and embedded 28Gbps transceivers will dramatically improve the density and I/O performance of next-generation Altera FPGAs and further strengthen their competitive position versus ASICs and ASSPs.
The rapid growth of bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-definition (HD) video, cloud computing, online data storage and mobile video has created a challenge for both infrastructure and end-user equipment developers. How can they quickly increase system bandwidth while staying within strict power and cost budgets? Altera has developed its latest innovations to solve these challenges.
The new Embedded HardCopy Blocks are customizable hard intellectual property (IP) blocks that leverage Altera's unique HardCopy ASIC capabilities. They are used to harden standard or logic-intensive functions such as interface protocols, application-specific functions, and proprietary custom IP. The Embedded HardCopy Blocks offer customers faster time to market for their designs while also reducing cost and power. For Altera, this innovation allows the company to quickly create variant products and target specific market segments.
Partial reconfiguration allows designers to reconfigure part of the FPGA while other sections remain running. This is extremely important in systems where uptime is critical because it allows designers to make updates or adjust functionality without disrupting services. Lowering power and cost, partial reconfiguration also improves effective logic density by removing the necessity to place in the FPGA functions that do not operate simultaneously. Instead, these functions can be stored in external memory and loaded as needed. This reduces the size of the FPGA by allowing multiple applications on a single FPGA, saving board space and reducing power.
To date, partial reconfiguration solutions have been time-intensive tasks that required designers to know all of the intricate FPGA architecture details. Altera is simplifying the partial reconfiguration process by building the capability on top of the proven incremental compile design flow in its Quartus II design software.
Extending its leadership in embedded transceiver technology, Altera has developed 28Gbps embedded transceivers, which will also be implemented in upcoming 28nm FPGAs. These high-speed transceivers will enable customers to implement next-generation designs such as 400G systems on a single chip without the need for costly external components.
"Two years ago, Altera introduced the industry's first 40nm FPGAs, and continued delivering industry firsts such as embedded 11.3-Gbps transceivers," said John Daane, president, chairman and CEO of Altera. "As we move to the next process node, these new innovations from Altera will take the industry beyond the benefits of Moore's Law to solve bandwidth challenges while staying within cost and power requirements."