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Altium support for Lattice devices

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ALTIUM Limited will support Lattice Semiconductor’s LatticeEC and LatticeECP FPGA devices as part of its recently released Service Pack 4 (SP4) for Altium Designer, the industry’s first unified application to incorporate all the technologies necessary for complete electronic product development within a single application.

This support enables designers to take advantage of Altium’s Designer’s unified and integrated electronic product development capabilities to target the latest generation of FPGAs from Lattice for low-cost system applications.

The addition of LatticeEC/ECP devices extends the range of device vendors supported by the Altium Designer system.

Altium Designer’s device and vendor-independent environment allows developers to easily retarget FPGA-based designs to any supported device and delay final device selection until much later in the design process than was otherwise possible.

The Lattice devices join the wide array of Altera, Xilinx and Actel FPGAs and CPLDs already supported by Altium, strengthening the company’s FPGA vendor-independent position.

Altium’s support for LatticeEC/ECP devices also enhances the ability of engineers to develop an extensive range of devices using the same programmable design platform.

“To stimulate the use of programmable devices in mainstream design applications, engineers must be armed with a device and FPGA vendor-independent design solution,” said founder and CEO, Altium, Nick Martin.

“Altium Designer is this solution and now with the addition of support for Lattice FPGA devices, we are providing greater choice and enhancing the design versatility for our customers.”

“Our LatticeEC and LatticeECP architectures provide an extremely economical solution for system development and offers high performance at low cost,” said Director of Design Tools Marketing for Lattice Semiconductor, Tim Schnettler.

“Partnering these devices with the Altium Designer system gives engineers a powerful and efficient platform for FPGA-based, system-level design. We are very pleased that Altium has moved quickly to bring LatticeEC/ECP device support to its products.”

In addition to the Lattice device support within Altium Designer, a range of LatticeEC/ECP-equipped daughter boards which plug into Altium’s FPGA-based development platform, the NanoBoard-NB1, will be available later in the year allowing a full interactive system development with LatticeEC/ECP devices.

The first of the upcoming LatticeEC/ECP daughter boards will incorporate a LFEC20E-4F484C FPGA. This device includes 424K bits of embedded RAM, 19.2 K LUT4s, four phase-locked loops (PLLs), support for DDR memory and a range of I/O standards.

The daughter board includes 16M x 32-bit of SDRAM sharing address and data buses with 256K x 32-bit of SRAM, as well as two independent 256K x 16-bit SRAMS that can be configured in a variety of ways in the FPGA.

The new daughter board will plug into Altium’s NanoBoard-NB1, which interfaces to Altium Designer and allows the interactive development of complete embedded systems, including processor-based designs, on an FPGA platform.

Altium Designer’s interactive development methodology, called LiveDesign, enables real-time communication with active devices in the circuit, such as processor cores and virtual instruments, that are running inside the target FPGA.

The NanoBoard and target daughter boards act as a nano-level breadboard that allows ‘live’ development and interactive debugging of both hardware and software without the need for simulation at system level.

With the release of Service Pack 4, announced in June 2005, Altium provides full design support for the LatticeEC/ECP FPGA device family in its Altium Designer system.

The FPGA-based components supplied with Altium Designer, including its range of processor cores and peripheral devices, have been pre-synthesised and pre-verified to support all target devices, including LatticeEC/ECP FPGAs.

LatticeEC/ECP device support is available immediately as part of SP4 for Altium Designer.

SP4 is available free to all Altium customers with an Altium Designer 2004 licence.

Altium’s LatticeEC/ECP daughter board will be available later this year.

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