8-Bit Core8051 Delivers Substantial Performance Improvements by Executing ASM51-Compatible Instructions in a Single Cycle
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., October 6, 2003 - Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) today announced the availability of its Core8051 8-bit high-performance embedded microcontroller (MCU), an intellectual property (IP) core optimized for Actel's nonvolatile, single-chip ProASICPLUS, Axcelerator, SX-A and RTSX-S field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The fully functional core, which executes all ASM51 instructions, delivers performance up to 24 times higher than alternative 8051 MCU solutions by executing instructions in a single cycle - unlike most competitive 8051 devices that execute instructions in two to twelve clock cycles. In addition, the new Core8051 exceeds the typical features for an 8051 solution by combining 13 four-priority level interrupts, 32 I/O ports, two timers and a programmable serial port. For as low as 35 cents/MIPS in a single-chip Actel FPGA solution, the Core8051 is well suited for the consumer, communications, and automotive market segments, in addition to industrial, military and aerospace applications.
"The present trend in the industry is to migrate 8-bit MCUs to IP cores for integration onto an ASIC or FPGA design," said Yankin Tanurhan, senior director, applications and IP solutions group, Actel. "The continued viability of the 8-bit MCU and the pervasive success of the 8051, with over 23 percent of the market, represents an opportunity for Actel to deliver solutions that can boost overall system performance while remaining compatible with an extremely large installed base of designs."
The Core8051 MCU fits within Actel's new Platform8051, a multiple-core platform-based design solution, also announced today (see related press release, "Actel Unveils Platform8051, Industry's First Embedded System Platform for Highly Integrated 8051 Designs"). The Core8051 IP core can be offered as a reprogrammable solution with Actel's ProASICPLUS FPGAs; as an extremely fast 8-bit processor with Axcelerator solutions; and as a radiation-tolerant design with RT54SX-S devices. Other Actel devices targeted by the new core include the SX-A devices and RTAX-S product offerings.
The Core8051, which takes up less than 75 percent of an APA150 ProASICPLUS FPGA, provides a wide range of functions, including an 8-bit ALU, four 8-bit I/O ports, two 16-bit counter timers, an interrupt controller with four priority levels, a 256-byte internal data memory interface, and 64kB external program and data memory interfaces.
Actel has partnered with industry leading embedded software and hardware vendors to provide high quality debuggers and integrated development environment (IDE) tools for the Core8051. The Core8051 includes First Silicon Solutions' (FS2) On-chip InstrumentationIP (OCI) and a debugger. The FS2 debugger uses Actel's FlashPro Lite for it's target connection and has four hardware execution breakpoints, unlimited software breakpoints and optional trigger and trace capabilities.
Rick Leatherman, president of FS2, said, "With the tight integration between our products, customers using FS2's OCI-base tools to develop Actel Core8051-based FPGA systems will see a significant reduction in their design cycles and development costs. Our software delivers advanced debugging and analysis capabilities at price points that are unmatched in the industry for this class of processor."
The Keil mVision2 IDE for Core8051, included in the company's PK51 Professional Developer's Kit, includes a compiler, assembler, linker, debugger, RTOS, and a cycle-accurate and function-accurate simulator. Keil Software provides the industry's most popular 8051 software development packages with over 30,000 customers worldwide. The Keil IDE integrates seamlessly with the FS2 tools.
"We are pleased to provide the mVision2 IDE and debugger for Actel's new 8051 products, Platform8051 and Core8051," said Jon Ward, president of Keil Software. "With seamless integration between the industry-standard tools included in Keil's PK51 Professional Developer's Kit and Actel's Platform8051 Development Kit, designers can quickly create, debug, simulate and prototype complex, single-chip, 8051-based applications."
Pricing and Availability
The Core8051 is priced at $9,995 for a single-use netlist and is available now. The price includes the FS2 OCI, the FS2 debugger and an evaluation version of the Keil PK51 Professional Developer's Kit.
About Actel's DirectCore Products
Actel DirectCore products are IP products that are designed specifically for use with Actel devices. DirectCores are sourced, verified, supported and maintained by Actel. They come complete as pre-implemented, synthesizable building blocks and have been thoroughly tested and verified in Actel FPGAs. DirectCores are delivered with excellent documentation and support to help simplify the designer's task of achieving fast time-to-market with minimal design costs and risks.
Actel Corporation is a supplier of innovative programmable logic solutions, including field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) based on antifuse and flash technologies, high-performance intellectual property (IP) cores, software development tools and design services, targeted for the high-speed communications, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) replacement and radiation-tolerant markets. Founded in 1985, Actel employs approximately 500 people worldwide. The Company is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, CA, 94043-4655. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835). Internet: http://www.actel.com.
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