Leading Engineering Design Services Firm Leverages Actel's Flash-Based ProASIC Plus Devices for Superior IP Protection, Increased Design Flexibility and Reduced Cost
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., September 27, 2004 - Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) today announced that its flash-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) were selected by Indesign, LLC, a leading electronic design engineering company, for use in Indesign's JS-2 Wireless High-Fidelity Streaming Audio Platform. Indesign's JS-2 system provides a robust, CD-quality, near zero latency, wireless audio link between an audio source and speakers, headphones or other high-fidelity audio components. Indesign selected Actel's single-chip, live at power-up ProASIC Plus FPGAs to serve as the receiver-side baseband processor and perform various system control functions between the baseband processor and the CODEC. The ProASIC Plus devices also serve as an interface for configuring components in the radio subsection of the JS-2 wireless system.
"Because our JS-2 system uses proprietary, patent-pending signalling algorithms to deliver the right balance of high data rate and extended range, we needed a solution that would protect our intellectual property, yet still offer the ability to change the design to meet a customer's specifications," said Jerry Gotway, President of Indesign. "Virtually impossible to copy or reverse engineer, Actel's ProASIC Plus flash-based FPGAs gave us increased security compared to a hardwired ASIC, with all of the flexibility typically associated with a programmable device."
Martin Mason, director of flash product marketing at Actel, said, "Indesign has a solid reputation for delivering innovative electronic products for its customers in the consumer, medical, military and communications markets. In addition to providing Indesign with unprecedented design security, our single-chip ProASIC Plus FPGAs allowed Indesign to reduce its overall system component count versus using an SRAM-based FPGA, leading to savings in system cost and board space."
Indesign's patent-pending baseband processor is implemented using an APA075 device from Actel's ProASIC Plus family. The receiver baseband processor performs many system functions including communication with the radio frequency (RF) section, forward error correction and interface with the CODEC. Together with a state-of-the-art radio, the system delivers 96 decibels (dB) of dynamic range and 20 hertz (Hz) to 20 kilohertz (kHz) frequency response with less than one millisecond (msec) of latency. Given the cost savings and security benefits that Indesign has realized using Actel devices, the company plans to implement future versions of its transmitter baseband processor using Actel devices as well.
Protecting intellectual property (IP) is paramount to a company's success in the marketplace. For increased design security, Actel's ProASIC Plus devices include the FlashLock feature, whereby special security keys are hidden throughout the fabric of the device to prevent internal probing and overwriting. The keys are located in such a way that they make both invasive and subtler, non-invasive attacks against the ProASIC Plus FPGAs very difficult. The secure ProASIC Plus devices are virtually immune from over-building during manufacturing or from cloning once the final system has shipped.
About ProASIC Plus
The ProASIC Plus family consists of devices ranging from 75,000 to 1 million system gates. The combination of a fine-grained, single-chip ASIC-like architecture and nonvolatile flash configuration memory makes Actel's ProASIC Plus offering a strong ASIC alternative. The devices are live at power-up, low power, highly secure, resistant to neutron-induced firm errors and require no separate configuration memory, all characteristics shared by ASICs. The ProASIC Plus architecture and design methodology support popular FPGA and ASIC tool flows, reducing time-to-market and permitting designers to migrate easily between FPGA and ASIC solutions.
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 more than 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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