Aldec Creates Prototyping Board for Actel RTAX-S Space FPGAs

Aldec, Inc., a pioneer in mixed-language simulation and advanced design tools for ASIC and FPGA devices, announced the availability of the RTAX-S Prototyping Board for radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGAs from Actel Corporation (NASDAQ:ACTL). Easing the prototyping process of space-flight systems, the new RTAX-S Prototyping Board provides the flexibility Actel’s flash-based ProASIC3 FPGAs offer, allowing designers to utilize a design across multiple aerospace projects, shorten design cycles and lower project costs. Together with automatic primitive’s conversion and reusability of the board, Aldec’s early prototyping solution addresses challenges aerospace engineers may face during the verification process of a complex antifuse-based design.

“Designers have asked for a quick, straightforward way to prototype radiation-tolerant designs in Actel’s antifuse-based RTAX-S FPGAs,” stated Dr. Stanley Hyduke, president of Aldec, Inc. “Aldec responded with a complete and reliable solution based on Actel’s ProASIC3 flash-based FPGAs that will simplify the prototyping path of such designs.”

Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing at Actel, said, “For easy and rapid early prototyping of Actel’s space-optimized RTAX-S FPGAs, Aldec’s solution uses ProASIC3 FPGAs, allowing customers to tap the flexibility and reprogrammability of flash-based prototypes for multiple applications. As a result, Aldec’s solution can accelerate design and validation cycles, which translates into faster time to market and lower development costs.”

RTAX-S Prototyping Board for radiation-tolerant RTAX-S FPGAs from ActelAutomatic Library Primitives Conversion
Substituting reprogrammable parts for the fuse-based ones requires appropriate library conversions. The primitives’ library conversion utility is provided with Active-HDL, a mixed-language simulator that is included with the RTAX-S Prototyping Board. The utility allows automatic conversion of primitives from one library (e.g., RTAX-S) to another (e.g., ProASIC3). RTAX-S designs not using library specific primitives or memories can be implemented to different architecture without any modifications. Otherwise, primitives and memories should be replaced manually or supplied as a customer service.

Hardware Adaptor Board
The prototyping adaptor board allows easy and inexpensive RTAX-S designs prototyping with flash devices. The reprogrammable ProASIC3 chip on the top of the adaptor allows implementing design changes easily, eliminating the need to solder/unsolder the adaptor from the prototyping board each time the design is being changed. The JTAG connector next to the ProASIC3 device allows reprogramming of the adaptor on the fly. The power connector provided on the top of the adaptor board allows programming of the adaptor without soldering it to the PCB. Bottom part of the adaptor is footprint-compatible with RTAX-S device allowing soldering the adaptor board to the PCB as a regular RTAX-S device. The adaptor board can be soldered/unsoldered several times, thus can be utilized for different projects.

The Prototyping solution provides engineers with a complete prototyping and verification toolset:

  • Aldec Active-HDL (Designer Edition) mixed-language simulator
  • Aldec library primitives conversion utility (built-in Active-HDL)
  • Actel Libero(R) Integrated Design Environment (IDE) – Gold edition
  • Reusable FPGA-based prototyping adaptor board with Actel’s ProASIC3 FPGA
  • FlashPro3 programmer

Prototyping adaptor is available today in two packages:

1. Prototyping bundle for $4,995.
Includes Active-HDL (Design Edition) mixed VHDL and Verilog, built-in library primitives’ conversion utility, Actel Libero integrated design environment, prototyping adaptor, and FlashPro3 programmer.

2. Prototyping adaptor only for $3,495.
Includes Prototyping adaptor and FlashPro3 programmer.

All licenses are for one year and can be purchased from Aldec directly or from an authorized distributor The adaptor board is a buy-out product.

About Aldec
Aldec, Inc., established in 1984, is committed to delivering high-performance, HDL-based design verification software for UNIX, Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms.

Active-HDL is a trademark of Aldec, Inc.