11 October 2011

Altera integrates dual core Cortex-A9 as it targets embedded systems

Looking to bring the benefits of integrating hard processors and fpgas, Altera has launched what it says is a new family in its portfolio.

Called SoC FPGAs, the parts will comprise a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and either the Cyclone V or Arria V 28nm fpga fabric. The company says designers will have access to its existing design flow, as well as to the ARM developer community. The result, it claims, will be products with smaller pcbs, lower power consumption and lower price tags.

Alongside a Cortex-A9 processor running at up to 800MHz, the SoC FPGAs also boast ECC protected memory controllers and a range of commonly used peripherals. Ahead of silicon – expected later in 2012 – Altera believes the processor system will deliver up to 4000 DMIPS while consuming less than 1.8W. Six models are planned; two Arria V and four Cyclone V.

Chris Balogh, Altera's senior marketing director for software, embedded and dsp, said the move built on last year's launch of the Embedded Initiative. "The embedded systems community has decided that programmable logic within systems is a good idea. Now, up to 50% of designs use programmable logic and 30% of fpgas feature one or more Nios soft processors."

The processor system and fpga fabric are powered independently and can be configured and booted in any order. The fpga portion can also be powered down as needed to conserve power.

A virtual protyping environment is available for the device, something which Balogh called a 'shrink wrap' developed with Synopys. "Software is the largest part of the design effort," he said. "Software developers won't need to know about virtual prototyping, they can just 'open the box' and boot Linux in less than a minute."

Graham Pitcher

Supporting Information


Altera UK Ltd

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

SiLabs buys Touchstone

Silicon Labs has acquired Touchstone Semiconductor, an early stage power ...

AMD unveils Adelaar GPU

AMD's diversification away from its traditional PC and server markets continued ...

Intel consolidates systems

Intel used Embedded World to unveil a platform designed to speed time to market ...

On track for clean power

Every piece of equipment needs power and yet, claims Peter Creely, there are ...

Next step is embedded

The embedded sector continues to grow, pushed by economies of scale and pulled ...

Protecting embedded systems

An embedded system can be attacked by injecting malware at some point. Once ...

Remote management

Out of Band (OOB) remote management can help to optimise the total cost of ...

4th gen Intel Core processors

This whitepaper from congatec will outline the benefits to embedded designers ...

SoCs for embedded systems

This whitepaper discusses Altera's programmable SoC approach to ARM based ...

FT51 and FT90 MCUs

FTDI's focus at Embedded World was on two new families of microcontrollers, ...

Modular power supplies

While engineers are increasingly looking to simplify power design, often by ...

SSD for embedded applications

Arrival Electronics has announced the availability of Silicon Motion's FerriSSD ...

ARM mid-range mobile solutions

Nandan Nayampally, vp of processor marketing, introduces the new suite of ARM ...

Ask the expert: DSP

Murtaza Ali is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS) at Texas ...

LM5023 Low standby power demo

Terry demonstrates the ultra-low standby power of the LM5023 quasi-resonant ...

Search for software testers

Is there anybody out there?! *tumbleweed* This is how it feels looking ...

Embedded engineering needs

Software is a fundamental part of developing today's electronic devices. It's ...

Steve Edwards, cto, CWE

Graham Pitcher finds out that COTS is now being applied at the system level.

Sean Riley, vp, Lattice

Sean Riley, Lattice Semiconductor's corporate vice president and general ...

Claire Jeffreys, NEW

Claire Jeffreys, events director, National Electronics Week, talks with Chris ...