Actel's comm cores target SX-A and eX devices
By Michael Santarini, EE Times
December 5, 2000 (10:53 a.m. EST)
Actel Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has introduced five new high-performance intellectual property (IP) cores for communications, including both networking and telecom applications.
The five new offerings targeting Actel SX-A or eX devices include an 8b/10b encoder/decoder, a configurable cyclic redundancy code (CRC) core, an SDRAM controller, a PCI bus arbiter and a UART.
Actel's 8b/10b encoder/decoder enables the physical coding sublayer in Gigabit Ethernet and fibre channel.
The core supports data rates in excess of 125 MHz, appropriate for the high-speed data services required by emerging communications and telecom systems.
Actel provides its cores in Verilog or VHDL source code. Each core includes comprehensive documentation and testbenches enabling designers to get started quickly and, if necessary, make modifications to suit specific needs.
Licensing costs of these cores for use in Actel devices start at $495.< /P>
IBM Microelectronics Group has announced it has licensed members of the ARM9ETM family of microprocessor cores from ARM, expanding the companies' relationship, while adding to IBM's offering of custom logic cores.
The companies said manufacturers of communications gear and other electronics products that are designed with these cores can now tap IBM's custom chip expertise and advanced manufacturing processes to enhance their offerings.
IBM previously licensed ARM's ARM7TDMI. The company said by licensing the ARM9E family-which includes ARM946ETM and ARM966ETM microprocessor cores-it can help customers create higher performance ARM-based designs.
IBM said like its ARM7TDMI offering, IBM will include several unique features that can help manufacturers more easily incorporate the ARM technology.
While IBM is initially offering the ARM9E cores in a 0.18-micron process technology, the cores are fully "synthesize-able," meaning they can be readily adapted to mor e compact, higher-performance geometries of 0.13 micron and beyond, without forcing customers to alter their basic design.
IBM said its implementation of the ARM7TDMI core in 0.18-micron technology has already demonstrated performance of 250 MHz nominal. The company claims it has also implemented a low-power version running at 0.27 mW/MHz at 1.65 volts.
IBM said it plans to adapt the ARM9E cores to use IBM's Level Sensitive Scan Design (LSSD) technology, which allows for thorough testing of the final chip. This can help to enable a higher degree of "first-time-right" designs and reduced time-to-market for customers, said the company.
The ARM9E cores will be part of IBM's Blue Logic technology, a set of custom chip offerings that can be integrated into manufacturers' products with the help of IBM's worldwide design centers. For more information see www.chips.ibm.com.