Giving automotive manufacturers the confidence they need to embed field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in system-critical automotive applications, Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) announced it has received ISO/TS 16949:2002 certification. When combined with AEC-Q100 Grade 1 and Grade 2 qualification of its ProASIC(R)3 devices and the company’s Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) documentation, the new certification ensures that customers can deploy the highest grade automotive low-power FPGA product on the market and confirms that the company’s design, development and production procedures meet the standard’s strict guidelines.
“Certification is a mandatory requirement for doing business with the majority of automotive manufacturers,” said Terry Pence, senior manager, high-reliability product marketing, for Actel. “This important ISO certification ensures that our quality management system follows best practices for the automotive industry and provides a process for continual improvement. By satisfying the automotive industry’s stringent requirements, we ensure that our products are well-suited for the extreme conditions presented by under-the-hood, safety and body electronics applications.”
Actel FPGAs: Designed for Reliability
Actel’s flash-based FPGA devices offer the industry’s lowest power and critical firm error immunity levels not achieved by SRAM-based solutions. This allows a wide variety of transportation vehicles — from standard automobiles to trucks and locomotives — to leverage the flexibility, performance and overall lower program costs of using FPGAs in high-reliability applications. To date, more than 70 percent of the company’s automotive-grade, flash-based devices are used in “under-the-hood” applications such as powertrain, safety and transmission control modules.
Last year, Actel announced that the ProASIC3 family was the first to achieve AEC-Q100 Grade 1 and Grade 2 qualification, making them the first FPGAs to achieve this quality level. Qualification verifies that ProASIC3 devices can operate in extended junction temperature ranges (-40 to +135 degrees C). Ultra low static power of 40 mA at 135 degrees C enables the devices to endure extreme temperatures for longer periods of time without thermal reliability or runaway concerns.
The ProASIC3 family also uniquely features on-chip flash memory for FPGA switch control, making them immune to neutron-induced firm errors which can cause configuration upsets — a mandatory requirement in an industry driving toward zero defects. Actel’s automotive-grade products therefore provide the first viable alternative to complex and costly application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology in under-the-hood applications.
Attacking power consumption from both the chip and the system levels, Actel Corporation’s innovative FPGAs and programmable system chip solutions enable power-efficient design. 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.
The Actel name and logo, and ProASIC name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation.