Actel's Secure, Distributed Block RAM Architecture and Upgrade Path to Higher Densities Proved Crucial in Selection Process MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
-- Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) today announced that the company's flash-based ProASIC Plus field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) were chosen by Petaluma, Calif.-based General Vision for use in the company's novel CogniSight (TM) image recognition engine technology. CogniSight can be used to synthesize the color, shape and texture of visual objects, learn these signatures with a set of parallel silicon neurons (NeuroMemory), and then recognize identical or similar objects to produce a response. This "generic image recognition" technology targets applications in medical imaging, remote sensing, factory automation, automated security/sentry, defense video tracking, image content mining and human system interfacing.
Actel's single-chip ProASIC Plus devices were selected for the CogniSight "neural network" embedded processing engine for a number of key reasons. Based on a massively parallel processing architecture, General Vision's design required a scalable FPGA family that could serve as a secure integration platform and offer multiple embedded RAM blocks that could be configured for distributed pattern recognition. Moreover, because the proprietary image recognition technology targets high-security and mission-critical applications, a "load-upon-reset" architecture, typical of SRAM-based programming algorithms, was not an option because of security concerns. The Actel ProASIC Plus devices were the obvious choice for this application.
"While we have used FPGAs in earlier designs, the distributed RAM block feature in Actel's ProASIC Plus family was very important for our next- generation image recognition controller and a prime reason for its selection," said Guy Paillet, partner in General Vision. "And because the controller, which performs the pixel pre-processing for our neural network chips, needed to accommodate a range of image recognition applications, it was important that we were able to scale the memory blocks yet keep the FPGA package size and I/O the same, from 150,000 to as many as 1-million gates. All of these constraints were met with the ProASIC Plus family."
"General Vision's role in advancing the state of the art in image and pattern recognition technology is well documented in the industry," said Dennis Kish, vice president of marketing at Actel. "We are very pleased that the seminal features and benefits of our ProASIC Plus architecture were able to match exactly the critical design requirements of this innovative image recognition engine from this pioneer."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, immune 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.
Unlike SRAM-based FPGAs that must be programmed by off-chip memory, the ProASIC Plus devices are built on a nonvolatile flash fabric, which retains the design even when in a powered-down state, making them live at power-up and eliminating the need to be reconfigured from an external device during the power-up sequence.About General Vision
General Vision is developing and licensing a generic image recognition engine, CogniSight, based on proprietary pixel processing and parallel associative memory invented by Guy Paillet and jointly developed and patented with IBM Corp. also known as ZISC(R) (Zero Instruction Set Computer). General Vision was founded in 1987 by Anne Menendez, which Guy Paillet joined in 1999. The company is closely held and focusing on advancing the image recognition technology out of the traditional computing path, but instead inspired by biological model and massively parallel processing. Internet: http://www.general-vision.com
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
.NOTE: The Actel name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation. ZISC is a registered mark of IBM Corporation. CogniSight is a trademark of General Vision Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.