Altium have announced another new daughter board for their desktop NanoBoard reconfigurable hardware development platform. This latest plug-in daughter board targets Altera’s Cyclone III EP3C40 FPGA in a 780 BGA package.
The daughter board includes a range of on-board memories for application use and a 1-Wire memory device used to store board identification and related information. The daughter board for Altera Cyclone III FPGAs makes concept exploration, prototype development and device experimentation easier.
The desktop NanoBoard lets electronics designers use the flexibility and inherent ability to reprogramme FPGAs to create new designs quickly, and then compare design performance across a range of different FPGA devices supported by Altium.
The Altera Cyclone III FPGA plug-in daughter board offers opportunities for electronics engineers to experiment with different programmable devices, particularly in mainstream electronics design. Designers do not need to commit to their final device too early in the design cycle. For example, they have the option of creating their design using one FPGA and choosing another device for their final product. Designers can also observe the performance of an actual design running on the NanoBoard and compare it with other devices by swapping daughter boards and rebooting in seconds.
When the desktop NanoBoard is combined with Altium’s unified electronics design solution, Altium Designer, designers have an Innovation Station that lets them create prototypes in a matter of days rather than weeks, optimise product performance and overall cost in their designs, and create a sustainable competitive advantage embedded within the design.
According to Enginuitive Technologies, Altium's Innovation Station has turned the design process for the better. Before using the Innovation Station, the typical design process included a preliminary hardware design, then a software design to begin prototyping. This often led to a hardware redesign. Now, the complex prototypes can be run on the desktop NanoBoard within hours. This is because the soft design precedes the hard design, which eliminates the need for a hardware redesign.
Unified design environment of Altium Designer lets designers lay out custom PCBs once the design is final. It manages all the design documentation required to take the design through the complete design process: early concept development, multiple prototypes creation on the desktop NanoBoard, custom 3D PCB design, including dynamic clearance checking between the PCB and its casing and final output files for manufacturing.
Every designer on a project accesses a single design data model, can see the changes in the design as they happen, and can update versions and associated documentation with a single command.
The addition of a Cyclone III FPGA daughter board within Altium's NanoBoard platform ensures designers to quickly integrate Cyclone III FPGAs into their systems. The Innovation Station places programmable devices at the centre of the design process and provides a vendor-independent hardware development platform, so engineers can focus on the soft design elements.