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Altera addresses needs of portable application market

Posted: 17 Jul 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Altera  Max II  CPLD  EPM240  EPM570 

Altera Corp. has announced it has expanded the MAX II device family to address the growing portable applications market. The company said the new MAX II device features ultra-small packages, a new power-down capability and the lowest cost in the industry, offering designers of handheld applications half the cost and power of competing products.

The MAX II CPLDs are designed to meet the small form-factor package and low power capabilities needed by designers of portable systems such as point-to-multipoint (PMP) systems, barcode scanners, PDAs and handheld sensors.

According to Gartner Dataquest's May 2006 "Semiconductor Forecast Worldwide-Forecast Database," portable applications use in the consumer market is expected to grow from an estimated Rs.73,328 crore ($16 billion) in 2006 to Rs.87,077 crore ($19 billion) by 2008, a CAGR of nine per cent. The MAX II ultra-small packages and power-down capabilities are targeted at this market and are expected to accelerate the adoption of MAX II devices into portable applications, Altera said.

The MAX II EPM240, EPM570 and EPM1270 devices are available in 100-pin and 256-pin 0.5mm Micro FineLine BGA (MBGA) packages and 100-pin 1mm FineLine BGA (FBGA) package. Altera said the MBGA packages enable designers to integrate 50 per cent more user I/O and logic elements (LEs) for a given board area, on average, than competing CPLD solutions. This makes the new CPLDs suitable for applications requiring high I/O count per board area (mm2) to interface with LCD displays, keypads, flash or memory. Altera added that designers can further reduce system cost by using the new packages and the new devices' differentiating features, including high logic density, an on-chip voltage regulator and an internal oscillator, to integrate discrete devices and minimize the number of power rails.

"Designers of portable or battery-powered applications face many of the same challenges that have fuelled the programmable industry for the last twenty years, namely shortened schedules, feature uncertainty caused by changing industry standards and cost pressures. With a zero-power mode and package sizes common to this market, portable designers can now benefit from using CPLDs from Altera," said Luanne Schirrmeister, Altera's director of low-cost product marketing.

Production versions of the EPM240 and EPM570 devices in the 100-pin FBGA package are already available. The EPM240 and EPM570 devices in 100-pin MBGA package will be available next month, while the EPM570 and EPM1270 devices in 256-pin MBGA packages will be available in September 2006. Volume pricing for the EPM240 M100 is Rs.57.29 ($1.25) in 250,000-unit volumes.

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