Altera Rolls Out Arria GX Transceiver-Based FPGAs

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) extended their leadership in the transceiver-based FPGA market with the introduction of the low-cost Arria(TM) GX family. Arria GX FPGAs are optimized to support PCI Express (PCIe), Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Serial RapidIO(TM) (SRIO) standards up to 2.5 Gbps; these standards are rapidly emerging as mainstream protocols in a wide variety of markets and applications. Features of the Arria GX family include the proven Stratix(R) II GX transceiver technology, flip-chip packages for superior signal integrity, software tools and verified intellectual property (IP) cores. To immediately start designing with Arria GX devices, customers can utilize Quartus(R) II design software version 7.1. Volume production begins in June of this year.

The Arria GX family is comprised of five devices ranging in density from 21,580 to 90,220 logic elements (LEs), up to 4.5 Mbits of embedded memory and up to 176 multipliers, and is built on TSMC’s established 90-nm process. The family addresses the rapidly growing need for low-cost FPGAs with transceivers in the communications, computer, storage and industrial markets.

“What differentiates Arria GX devices from other offerings in the market is not one particular element but a combination of powerful attributes,” said Jordon Plofsky, Altera’s senior vice president of marketing. “Primarily, customers are getting a very reliable product—proven transceiver technology built on a proven process. Next, the price is unparalleled for such a comprehensive product. Finally, we designed it to maintain the best levels of signal integrity—each member of this family is available in flip-chip packages. These are the key elements our customers told us were most important for the applications we are targeting.”

Designed for Robust Signal Integrity
Arria GX FPGAs provide up to 12 full-duplex transceiver channels optimized to implement the PCIe, GbE and SRIO protocols. These transceivers are based on the same technology that has demonstrated its success in the high-end Stratix II GX family. The devices utilize flip-chip packaging technology, which provides a significant signal integrity advantage over wire-bond packages when combining transceivers with advanced memory interfaces.

“The Arria GX family, with its embedded transceivers, enables customers to combine our IP subsystem solutions into a low-cost, single-chip protocol solution such as our new NIC Controller, which bridges PCI Express with Ethernet MAC or SPI-4.2,” said Francois Balay, president of MoreThanIP.

Comprehensive Software and IP Support
Arria GX FPGAs offer a unique design environment that includes software tools, complete characterization reports, reference designs, and verified IP cores that meet compliance and interoperability. Also available is a protocol-specific development kit with support for PCIe x1 and x4, SRIO and GbE. Designers can begin their Arria GX designs today by downloading and installing the easy-to-use Quartus II development software version 7.1. The Quartus II software also integrates seamlessly with leading third-party synthesis and simulation tools. Customers can download the Subscription Edition and Web Edition of the Quartus II software.

Pricing and Availability
The first production-qualified Arria GX devices will begin shipping in June. The EP1AGX50CF484C6 device sells for US$50 in 25K unit volume. All Arria GX devices will be shipping in production by September 2007. The Arria GX Development Kit is currently available for ordering through the Altera(R) online store.

About Altera
Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets.

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