Altera Extends Excalibur[tm] Design Flow to Include Industry-Standard Processor Cores Altera, ARM, and Leading EDA Vendors Deliver Complete Solution By Offering Both Hardware and Software Design Flows Excalibur[tm] Supported By Altera's Quartus[tm] Development Tools Altera SOPC Builder Tool Enhances Ease-of-Use Level for Complex System Designs
San Jose, Calif., September 25, 2000--Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR), a leading programmable logic device (PLD) supplier, today announced design flow enhancements for its ARM- and MIPS-based Excalibur[tm] embedded processor solutions for system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) designs (see related announcement today, "Altera Unveils Technical Details of Its ARM- and MIPS-Based Excalibur[tm] Product Offerings"). The extended design flow is based on a combination of enhanced tools from Altera, plus support from the existing industry-leading ARM Development Suite and third-party GNUPro tools. The Altera development tools include versions of Quartus[tm] development software which includes the new SOPC Builder tool. In addition, Altera today announced support from leading EDA vendors including Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, and Synplicity.
"Today, SOPC design is a reality for the broad marketplace," said Erik Cleage, Altera's senior vice president of marketing. "The breadth of hardware and software support offered by Altera enables the ease-of-use and decreased time-to-market required for next-generation SOPC designs."
About Altera Development Software
Altera's Quartus software was developed to support system-level designs and features good-as-native links to industry-leading, third party tools from Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, Synplicity, and other leading EDA vendors. It also features the SignalTap[tm] embedded logic analysis tool for in-system hardware debugging. The Altera fourth-generation Quartus software meets the challenges of designing for multi-million gate devices and enables SOPC design methodologies. It supports major operating systems, including Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX.
The SOPC Builder tool, internally developed by Altera, is a front-end development environment that customizes and simplifies both hardware and software code development. The designer can specify a wide variety of system parameters which the SOPC Builder tool then implements automatically, regardless of the processor core being used. The hardware code, thus created, is fed into Altera's Quartus development tools; the software code is output to either the ARM Development Suite or the GNUPro tool suite. The SOPC Builder tool will allow the decision of whether to place functions in hardware or software to come much later in the design cycle than ever before, allowing a clearer view of the tradeoffs and more optimized system design.
About Third-Party EDA Vendor Support
As part of its continued commitment to provide world-class software tools to its customers, Altera has worked closely with key EDA companies to support Excalibur embedded processor cores. The target is a leading-edge synthesis and simulation design environment, providing seamless integration within the Quartus software for embedded processor designs.
"To address the needs of SOPC designers, Mentor Graphics provides rapid support for new offerings from the PLD vendors," said Anne Sanquini, vice president and general manager of Mentor Graphics' HDL Design Division. "Altera's Excalibur embedded processor solutions provide designers with an unprecedented level of design flexibility and integration. With our ModelSim and LeonardoSpectrum tools for simulation and synthesis, and our FPGA Advantage design flow, Excalibur customers have a complete toolset for Altera's embedded processor solutions."
"Excalibur processor cores open new opportunities for true system-on-a-programmable-chip designs. Synopsys' FPGA Express and FPGA Compiler II support the advanced design methodologies to deliver sophisticated solutions for all Excalibur family members," said Jay Michlin, vice president and general manager of Synopsys' FPGA Business Unit.
"By integrating logic and memory with its ARM- and MIPS-based Excalibur embedded processor cores, Altera is enabling the programmable system-on-a-chip technology required for emerging communications and multimedia applications," said Jeff Garrison, director of product marketing at Synplicity. "Using synthesis solutions, such as our Synplify and Amplify Physical Optimizer products, designers can achieve the high performance and quality of results needed to take full advantage of these devices."
Pricing, Licensing and Availability
Quartus software support for the new devices will be available to beta customers in October 2000. A production release of the Quartus tool providing full software support for Excalibur products will be available in January 2001 and will be a part of the Altera development tools subscription package.
For ARM designs, customers can license the complete ARM Development Suite at a reduced rate through Altera. As part of the annual Altera development tools subscription package, Altera-specific versions of the ARM Developer Suite are available now. For MIPS designs, Altera will provide the complete GNUPro suite. Additionally, the ARM- and MIPS-based embedded processor devices are compatible with any available tools from third parties for the ARM922T[tm] or MIPS32 4Kc[tm] processors.
Altera's software subscription program simplifies the process of obtaining Altera development tools by consolidating all software products and maintenance charges into one annual subscription payment. For a $2000 single-user license, an annual subscription entitles a customer to receive the latest version of MAX+PLUS® II and Quartus development tools, as well as all software updates for twelve months. Customers may obtain software subscriptions directly from Altera or one of its authorized distributors.
New or existing customers may obtain a software subscription at the Programmable eStore on the Altera web site, http://www.altera.com or from Altera distributors worldwide.
Safe Harbor Notice
This press release contains "forward looking statements" which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements are generally preceded by words such as "will," "expects," or "anticipates." Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements in this release involve risks and uncertainty, including without limitation the risk that the Company's products may not be available according to the current schedule. Please refer to the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, copies of which are available from the Company without charge, for further information.
Altera Corporation, The Programmable Solutions Company®, was founded in 1983 and is a leading supplier of programmable logic devices (PLDs). Altera's CMOS-based PLDs are user-programmable semiconductor chips that enhance flexibility and reduce time-to-market for companies in the communications, computer peripheral, and industrial markets. By using high performance devices, software development tools, and sophisticated intellectual property cores, system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions can be created with embedded processors, memory, and other complex logic together on a single PLD. Altera common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ALTR. More information on Altera is available on the Internet at http://www.altera.com.