ALTIUM has announced support for the Actel flash-based ProASIC Plus FPGA device family. This is part of an FPGA daughter board release for its LiveDesign-enabled, FPGA-based development platform, the NanoBoard.
On the NanoBoard the target device is housed on a swappable daughter board, allowing engineers to develop for a variety of devices using the same platform. The addition of a ProASIC Plus daughter board extends the range of device vendors supported by the system.
The ProASIC Plus daughter board features an Actel APA600 device that contains the equivalent of 600,000 system gates. The device includes 126kbits of embedded RAM, four global clock networks, two phase-locked loops (PLLs) and support for four selectable I/O standards. The ProASIC Plus family of devices uses a nonvolatile, flash-based technology, which means that it does not need an external configuration device. Nexar designers can easily port their designs to the ProASIC Plus platform and take advantage of these benefits in their products.
The ProASIC Plus daughter board plugs into the NanoBoard, which interfaces with Altium's Nexar design software and allows the interactive development of complete systems on an FPGA platform. LiveDesign is the Nexar design methodology. It enables real time communication with active devices in the circuit that are running inside the target FPGA. The NanoBoard and target daughter board act as a nano-level breadboard that allows interactive development and debugging of systems without the need for simulation at the system level. The NanoBoard can also be used with Altium's Protel 2004 board-level design system for interactive FPGA hardware development.
Altium will provide full design support for the Actel ProASIC Plus device in its Nexar and Protel development systems. This includes constraint files for the daughter board that map the FPGA pinout on the daughter board to the relevant NanoBoard resources, allowing easy targeting of a design for the ProASIC Plus devices. The FPGA-based components supplied with Nexar, including its range of processor cores, have been presynthesised and preverified to support all target devices, including the ProASIC Plus.