Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) announced their strategy to increase market penetration for the company’s ultra low-power IGLOO field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in the rapidly growing portable market. As standards and platforms continue to emerge and evolve, designers need to be able to quickly adapt. Reprogrammable FPGAs offer the flexibility required to address these changing standards and speed time to market. Actel’s first portable solution phase is focused on storage. Working with its partners, Actel offers three different platforms to demonstrate how storage controllers and interfaces can be programmed into the FPGA and made to work with industry-leading processors, such as the Marvell PXA and Freescale i.MX.
Targeted at smart phones, GPS devices or PDAs, the first platform is a storage daughter card for Marvell Semiconductor’s “Littleton” PXA 300/310 Handheld Platform Development Kit. Actel’s IGLOO AGL600, featured on this daughter card jointly developed with Arasan Chip Systems, extends the processor’s capability, enabling IGLOO to act as a bridge function and provide additional peripheral support for SD, MicroSD and CE-ATA storage standards.
A second board, a full-featured Freescale i.MX27 processor development platform from iWave Systems, can demonstrate the IGLOO AGL125 FPGA as an ultra low-power SD/MMC or CE-ATA controller for PDA, point-of-sale terminals, rugged data communication devices and GPS applications. Also leveraging Actel’s low-power, flash-based devices, PalmChip offers a storage daughter card for cameras, smart phones and security and surveillance applications. The Actel FPGA serves as a bridge from the processor bus to multiple storage interfaces, including ATA 6, CE-ATA, SD 1.1/2.0, MMC, CompactFlash 3.0 and CardBus 2.1/PCMCIA. While the platform includes the Marvell PXA 270 processor, the solution also serves as a reference design for X-Scale and ARM processors.
Rounding out the company’s storage development boards are hard disk drive (HDD), flash storage IP cores and multiple bridge interfaces available from Actel’s CompanionCore partners, Arasan, iWave and Palmchip. HDD solutions include ATA, ATAPI and CE-ATA. For flash storage, solutions include CompactFlash, SD/MMC, Managed NAND and NAND flash control.