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Actel expands support for industry-standard processors

Posted: 11 Jul 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU functionality  low-power FPGA  processor cores  embedded designers 

Enabling embedded designers to easily add MCU functionality to its low-power FPGAs, Actel Corp. has expanded its support for industry-standard processors. Complementing its existing Libero Integrated Design Environment and CoreConsole IP Deployment Platform, Actel has added new software drivers and RTOS support. In combination with a complete set of development boards, these offerings further enhance a designers' ability to use processor technology in the company's low-power IGLOO, IGLOO PLUS, ProASIC3L and ProASIC3 FPGAs and its Fusion programmable system chips.

"We have seen tremendous interest and a surge in design starts for processor-based designs—up by more than 3x over the previous year," said Mike Thompson, senior manager of IP and application solutions marketing, at Actel. "We believe this can be attributed to the attractiveness of our industry leading low-power FPGAs, our broad range of processor cores, and a comprehensive, easy-to-use design environment. With the industry's use of processor technology in FPGAs trending upwards, we are committed to continuing to broaden our support for our processor offerings, further enabling embedded designers to significantly reduce design complexity and risk when developing system-level designs."

Actel offers a range of processor technologies—from its small CoreABC to the high-performance, industry-standard ARM Cortex-M1 processor, allowing designers to select the best processor for their application. To support these cores, Actel has added new software drivers for 15 sub-system IP cores as well as hardware abstraction layer support. Additionally, Actel partner Micrium has ported and validated its uC/OS-II RTOS for use with the company's FPGA-optimised ARM Cortex-M1 processor.

The new software drivers and HALs are available for free download from Actel's Website ( and can be used with Actel's FPGA-optimised ARM Cortex-M1 processor, CoreMP7 (ARM7), and Core8051s processors. The Micrium uC/OS-II RTOS can be downloaded for free from Micrium's web site ( for evaluation or development. Actel's M1 IGLOO, M1 ProASIC3, and M1 Fusion development boards are available from Actel with prices starting at Rs.14,007.37 ($350).

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