Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) announced the addition of five new low-cost development kits based on its Cyclone V FPGAs. These new kits make it easy for designers to cost-effectively get started on FPGA development with an entry point of just $49. Altera provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of low-cost solutions that deliver optimal power and performance based on customers’ unique design requirements. The portfolio includes CPLDs, FPGAs and SoCs, which are all supported by the Quartus® II development environment. The Altera portfolio serves the widest variety of high-volume applications and system requirements by offering the industry’s broadest density range with the most packaging options.
Altera continues to deliver on our promise of offering the most optimized portfolio of low-cost solutions in the industry, said Patrick Dorsey, senior director of product marketing at Altera. At a time when other vendors are de-emphasizing their low-cost product offering and forcing their customers to use different design environments, Altera remains focused on delivering a broad range of products with optimized process technologies that are supported by a common design environment, enabling our customers to quickly ramp to high volume.
Most Comprehensive Portfolio of Development Kits
Altera and its partners offer more than 30 development kits targeting Altera’s portfolio of low-cost CPLDs, FPGAs and SoCs. The kits provide a quick and simple way to develop low-cost and low-power system-level designs and achieve rapid results. Five new Cyclone V FPGA 28 nm development kits were recently added to the portfolio to further ease system design while allowing designers to cost-effectively integrate Cyclone V FPGAs. These new development kits include:
- The Arrow BeMicro CV is a $49 development kit that features a Cyclone V E FPGA. This low-cost development kit allows developers to get started with their Cyclone V FPGA project within minutes.
- The TerASIC Cyclone V GX Starter Kit is a $179 kit that includes both a high-speed mezzanine connector (HSMC) and an Arduino connector, allowing customers to quickly start building low-power video systems, including automotive driver assistance and human machine interfaces.
- The Altima Cyclone V GX Development Kit is a $349 kit that offers a quick and simple approach to develop low-cost and low-power, FPGA-based system-level designs.
- EBV Elektronik GmbH offers a Cyclone V GX Development Board for €749 that includes a number of design examples that allow customers to quickly develop projects that require high-speed serial transceivers.
- EBV Elektronik GmbH also offers a Mercury Code Cyclone V GX Development Board for €599 that allows customers to rapidly develop FPGA-based systems used in industrial automation and communications applications.
Optimized Low-Cost Portfolio
Altera’s current low-cost portfolio of CPLDs, FPGAs and SoCs include the Max® V CPLD, the Cyclone IV and Cyclone V FPGA and the Cyclone V SoC which features an integrated ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore® processor system. The portfolio leverages intellectual property (IP), architecture and process technology that are optimized for low cost. This optimization enables Altera to deliver the broadest offering of low-cost programmable solutions in the industry that are tailored to meet nearly all customers’ low-cost, high-volume system requirements. The devices are available in a wide range of densities and a myriad of packaging options for use in the smallest form-factor applications. The use of hardened functions, including hard PCI Express® (PCIe®) IP blocks and hard memory controllers, simplify system development and increase system performance. Cyclone V FPGAs and Cyclone V SoCs feature a hard memory controller with industry leading throughput, providing almost 2.0x the effective memory bandwidth with lower toggle rate versus competitive 28 nm low-cost FPGA families.
Portfolio Supported by a Common Development Environment
Altera is the only company to support its entire portfolio of low-cost CPLDs, FPGAs and SoCs with a common and proven development environment. This makes it easy for customers to migrate between product families or reuse IP from previous designs. Altera’s Quartus II development suite maximizes design team efficiency by supporting a variety of design flows that are tailored to a designer’s preferred design methodology. The Quartus II development suite supports traditional FPGA designers, DSP designers, embedded developers and C-based programmers.
Roadmap to Next-Generation
Altera is collaborating with TSMC in developing next-generation low-cost devices based on leading-edge 55 nm embedded flash process technology. The devices are optimized for use in high-volume applications by delivering more IP and functionality while lowering device and system costs. Compared to the prior generation embedded flash technology, TSMC’s 55 nm embedded flash process delivers faster computing, increases gate density 10x and shrinks flash and SRAM cell sizes by 70 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Over 100 customers are currently participating in the early access program for these next-generation, low-cost products.
Altera’s portfolio of low-cost CPLDs, FPGAs and SoCs are available today in production. All low-cost development kits supporting the portfolio are available for purchase, either through Altera or its respective partners.