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Posted: Dec 13, 2012
Altera Ships Its First 28nm SoC Devices
(Nanowerk News) Altera Corporation announced the first shipments of its 28 nm SoC devices, which combine a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 processor system with FPGA logic on a single device. Altera SoCs include several distinctive features that enable developers in the wireless communications, industrial, video surveillance, automotive and medical equipment markets to create custom SoC variants optimized for system power, board space, performance and cost requirements. The first devices Altera is shipping are low-power, low-cost Cyclone® V SoCs. Altera is demonstrating these SoCs at the ARM Technology Symposium Europe.
“The number of customers who have already committed to using Altera SoCs has exceeded our expectations,” said Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing at Altera. “Embedded developers selected Altera SoCs because of the undeniable feature-set advantage the device family delivers. With silicon now available, customers who used our SoC Virtual Target to develop their application software can now quickly port their application software into the SoC, saving months of development time.”
Altera is the only FPGA vendor today shipping SoCs that offer 32-bit error correction code (ECC) support which helps ensure data integrity throughout the embedded system. ECC support is a requirement for customers who must have high performance and reliable systems. ECC functionality is built into the SoC’s external DRAM memory interface and an extensive number on-chip memory instances and peripheral interfaces, including L2 Cache, scratch RAM, Ethernet MACs, USB ports and flash memory interfaces. Other unique features in the device family include a high-bandwidth memory controller with built-in memory protection, flexible boot capability and integrated PCI Express® (PCIe®) across all SoC devices.
“SoCs are a compelling solution for use in our commercial satellite communication terminals, as they enable us to reduce the number of discrete devices in our space- and power-constrained systems,” said Avihay Lahman, director of research and development at Gilat. “After careful evaluation and testing, we believe Altera’s SoCs include the most comprehensive set of features that assists us to build highly reliable systems that are performance and power optimized.”
Altera’s SoCs are supported by a broad ecosystem of operating systems, hardware design tools and software-development solutions from Altera, ARM, and third parties that ease the development and use of the devices. Strengthening its tools ecosystem support, Altera and ARM announced today they have jointly developed the ARM Development Studio 5™ Altera® Edition toolkit with FPGA-adaptive debugging that exclusively supports Altera SoC devices. More information about this toolkit can be found at www.altera.com/ds-5-ae.
To enable early software development, Altera released the SoC Virtual Target software design tool in October 2011, which allowed customers to start developing their application software prior to hardware availability. Many of Altera’s customers have leveraged the SoC Virtual Target tool and are now able to port their application software to the SoC FPGA, saving months of development time.
Altera will demonstrate its Cyclone V SoC Development Kit at the ARM Technology Symposium Europe taking place this week. The demonstration includes a Cyclone V SoC development board booting and running Linux on two CPUs. Altera representatives will be one hand to discuss the SoC FPGAs and to highlight its development tools ecosystem.
Altera is currently shipping initial samples of the Cyclone V SoC FPGA (5CSXA6), which features 110K logic elements (LEs). Broader sample availability will be in the first quarter of 2013, followed by production device availability later in the year.