Altera, BittWare Debut Software Programmable Reconfiguration Platform

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and BittWare announced the Software Programmable Reconfiguration (SPR) reference platform, which allows designers to bring their software-defined radio (SDR) applications to life quickly and cost-effectively. With the SPR platform, developers of SDRs and other digital signal processing (DSP)-based applications have a flexible, portable and low-cost design methodology for exploring software reconfiguration of military waveform functionality.

The SPR platform leverages AMC and MicroTCA form factors with BittWare’s hybrid FPGA coprocessing products and Altera’s low-power, low cost and high-functionality Cyclone® III FPGA family. The result is a software-based methodology for reconfiguring system functionality. The SPR platform reduces development times for SDRs and DSP-based applications by replacing multiple iterations of hardware reconfigurations with software compiles. This approach helps reduce risk and accelerate SDR hardware systems. Altera and BittWare will be demonstrating the SPR platform in Altera’s booth (#1430) at MILCOM 2007 held in Orlando, Fla., October 29 through 31.

Altera’s Cyclone III FPGAs feature up to 120K logic elements, 4 Mbit of RAM, and 288 multipliers to provide complete waveform integration in less than 200mW of static power, making them ideal for SDR-based military applications. Cyclone III FPGAs are built on a 65-nm low-power process optimized to offer a size, weight and power (SWaP) advantage that allows designers to address several issues critical in military applications, including thermal management constraints, power management issues, device size and weight.

“BittWare’s ATLANTiS framework leverages the low power and high capacity of Altera’s Cyclone III FPGAs, which provides maximum device flexibility and enables customers to reduce risk and leverage IP reuse while lowering power and cost implementations,” said Jeffry Milrod, BittWare president and CEO. “Military SDR and DSP developers can use this SPR reference platform to explore example systems cost-effectively and then port their solution to their end system of choice.”

The SPR reference platform consists of BittWare’s RapidTCA developer systems and Altera’s Cyclone III FPGA developer kit. The reference design includes a SPR design methodology for waveform and DSP within the FPGA, which accelerates system development via software configurations.

“The SPR reference platform we jointly developed with BittWare provides our mutual customers a superior alternative to partial reconfiguration,” said Amr El-Ashmawi, senior business unit manager of Altera’s military/aerospace market. “As the industry’s first standard platform to be paired with Cyclone III FPGAs, the SPR reference platform provides customers the ability to prototype and research their SDR and DSP-based systems rapidly. In addition, the platform also offers the highest functionality per watt ratio for maximum system integration at the lowest power.”

Pricing and Availability
The SPR reference platform is currently available from BittWare, with prices starting at $12,500.

About BittWare, Inc.
Founded in 1989, BittWare, Inc. is the leading designer and manufacturer of hybrid (DSP and FPGA) board-level solutions based on Altera’s FPGAs and Analog Devices’ TigerSHARC technology. The company provides the essential building blocks required by OEMs for developing and deploying their innovative systems in defense, communications, instrumentation and life sciences applications. BittWare’s product offering addresses OEM needs from prototype to production and spans a variety of platforms, including AMC, VME, PCI, CompactPCI, PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PMC and standalone.

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

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.