Altera’s HardCopy Stratix (distributed by Braemac ) structured ASIC was recently named EDN’s 2003 Innovation of the Year winner in the digital IC category. EDN, the design magazine of the electronics industry, is the US-based parent title of EDN Australia.
The company’s HardCopy structured ASIC was one of three semi-finalists, which included Fujitsu’s AccelArray structured ASICs (distributed by Crest Technologies ) and M-Systems’ DiskOnChip G3 devices. According to Altera, HardCopy devices offer a “truly seamless migration path from FPGAs to low cost structured ASICs”.
Structured ASICs are seen as a halfway house between FPGAs and custom ASICs. They offer some of the performance advantages and cost saving in volume of ASICs, together with the design flexibility and low non recurring engineering costs of FPGAs. (See EDN Australia Sep 03 page 16.)
“Winning this award provides a clear validation of the benefits we offer our customers through our HardCopy structured ASIC program,” says Alain Bismuth, Altera’s vice president of the HardCopy product group. “These include reducing their development costs and risks, while helping them accelerate the time to market of their new products.”
HardCopy devices have the same features as the company’s Stratix FPGAs as well as offer an average 50 percent performance increase. HardCopy also offers a decrease of up to 40 percent in power consumption over the equivalent Stratix FPGAs.