Actel, Aldec Target High-Reliability Design for Aerospace, Avionics

Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced it has partnered with Aldec, Inc., to offer two highly integrated solutions designed specifically for Actel’s field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in high-reliability avionics and aerospace applications. With the industry’s first hardware/software verification package to ease DO-254 certification, the two companies are alleviating the verification bottleneck in the design assurance process. In addition, Aldec and Actel are unveiling a flash-based prototyping solution for Actel’s space-optimized RTAX-S FPGAs, allowing aerospace customers to tap the flexibility and reprogrammability of flash-based prototypes for multiple aerospace applications.

“For space and avionics designers, even moderate reductions in time and development costs can make a critical difference in meeting program timelines and budgets,” said Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing at Actel. “These new high-reliability design solutions address this time and cost consciousness and underscore the flexibility, reliability and security advantages nonvolatile, single-chip FPGAs offer.”

“Actel’s strong presence in the avionics and aerospace markets with its single-chip, firm-error immune FPGA technologies makes them an ideal partner with whom to deliver these high-reliability design solutions,” said Dave Rinehart, vice president at Aldec. “We are particularly excited about the industry’s first DO-254 hardware and software verification platform, which will greatly reduce the development expenses associated with the verification and testing of avionics designs.”

“Actel’s Protocol Design Services Group provides customers with design and verification services and solutions for electronic systems, including FPGA-based avionics applications that require DO-254 compliance,” said Tony Farinaro, Actel vice president and general manager of the Protocol Design Services Group. “Our DO-254 design and process flow expertise combined with the new Actel and Aldec verification platform could be instrumental in ensuring the flight-worthiness and safety of our customers’ avionics designs.”

DO-254 Verification Solution
Adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration, the DO-254/EU80 (Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware) specification provides design assurance guidance for the development of “safe” airborne electronic hardware, including FPGA designs intended for flight use. Aldec’s hardware/software verification platform includes software tools to capture and compare simulation data with a golden set of vectors as well as a customized board for the functional verification phase of the DO-254 compliance process.

RTAX-S Prototyping Solution
Aldec’s RTAX-S prototyping solution allows customers to take advantage of Actel’s flash-based reprogrammable ProASIC3/E devices. Currently, RTAX-S prototyping is achieved using a commercial one-time programmable antifuse-based FPGA. Because several of these devices may be needed to validate a flight-unit design during prototyping, the availability of a reprogrammable solution allows for a much more cost-effective strategy. Further, the use of this new tool allows rapid reconfiguration of development platforms for space-flight computing, permitting faster integration and co-development of hardware and software.

As part of the solution, a prototyping adaptor is provided, which maps the footprint of Actel’s ProASIC3/E device to the footprint of an RTAX-S device. Customers can therefore use the reprogrammable prototyping tool without altering the layout of their space-flight printed circuit board (PCB).

Pricing and Availability
The complete prototyping solution includes an adaptor board, programming kits and the hardware and software tools needed for design conversion, mixed VHDL and Verilog simulation, mapping and programming. Pricing is dependent on the target RTAX-S device and package. The RTAX250S/RTAX1000S in a CQ352 package are priced at $4995. The first board will be available December 2006.

Pricing for the DO-254 hardware/software verification solution is determined by the device, features needed (customization) and amount of support required to obtain certification.

For more information about Actel’s Protocol Design Services Group, visit the Actel Web site. Telephone: 800-453-4035 or 973-770-4700.

About Actel
Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).

About Aldec
Aldec, Inc., a 22-year EDA tool provider, is committed to delivering high-performance, HDL-based design verification software and hardware for UNIX(R), Linux(R) and Windows(R) platforms. Aldec is dedicated and responsive to serving its customers’ needs with its offices located around the globe. Continuous innovation, superior product quality and totally commitment to customer service comprise the foundation of Aldec’s strategic objectives.

The Actel name and logos are trademarks of Actel Corporation.