Home > Actel IGLOO ultra-low-power flash FPGAs available from Caelera

Actel IGLOO ultra-low-power flash FPGAs available from Caelera

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article image Actel IGLOO Ultra-low-power flash FPGA

The Actel IGLOO families, which include IGLOO, IGLOO PLUS and IGLOO e-devices, are reprogrammable, full-featured flash FPGAs designed to meet the demanding power and area requirements of today’s portable and power-conscious electronics.

Based on Actel non-volatile flash technology and single-chip ProASIC3 FPGA architecture, the 1.2V / 1.5V operating voltage family offers low power consumption.

Flash*Freeze technology used in IGLOO devices enables easy entry to and exit from ultra-low-power mode, which consumes as little as 5µW, while retaining SRAM and register data.

Flash*Freeze technology simplifies power management through I/O and clock management without the need to turn off voltages, I/Os, or clocks at the system level.

The Actel IGLOO families supports secure in-system reprogrammability, which allows quick and easy upgrades or design updates in the final stages of manufacturing or in the field.

The IGLOO families support up to 3 million system gates with up to 504kbits of true dual-port SRAM, up to 6 embedded PLLs and up to 620 user I/Os.

Low-power applications that require 32-bit processing can use the ARM Cortex-M1 processor without license fee or royalties in M1 IGLOO devices.

Developed specifically for implementation in FPGAs, Cortex-M1 offers an optimal balance between performance and size to minimise power consumption.

Key benefits:

  • Flash*Freeze ultra-low power (from 5µW) while maintaining FPGA content
  • 1.2V or 1.5V core and I/O
  • Voltage minimises static and active power consumption
  • Supports ARM Cortex-M1
  • True single chip and small form factor for space-constrained applications
  • Full-featured FPGA with on-chip non-volatile memory, SRAM and PLLs
  • Comprehensive I/O offering with high I/O per area and logic ratios
  • Secure in-system programmability

IGLOO PLUS—Ultra-low-power FPGAs with enhanced I/O capabilities
Today’s highly competitive market demands devices that consume minimum power and offer differentiating features at a competitive price.

Responding to the challenge, Actel’s IGLOO PLUS family delivers unrivalled low-power options and I/O features in a feature-rich programmable device.

Starting at 5µW, IGLOO PLUS devices are the suitable low-power solution for I/O–intensive applications employing memory bus manipulation, general-purpose I/O expansion, sequencing, interface translation, storage and human interface touch screens and keypads.

Ranging from 30,000 to 125,000 gates, the 1.2V / 1.5V IGLOO PLUS devices have been optimised to meet the needs of I/O–intensive power-conscious applications that require advanced features.

These area- and cost-effective devices offer four I/O banks for independent level shifting to enable support for varying voltage levels, a feature that bridges the gap between application processors and application-specific standard products (ASSPs) in which differing I/O standards and voltages may be utilised.

Additionally, the IGLOO PLUS devices support Schmitt trigger inputs and are hot-swappable. The Schmitt trigger input delivers greater noise immunity in the circuit, enabling designers to safely identify an input signal that rises slowly, such as a keyboard or touchpad.

The hot-swap capability offers designers the flexibility to maintain direct system connection while powering up. The IGLOO PLUS family supports Flash*Freeze bus hold, which allows users to hold the I/O states while in Flash*Freeze mode—a capability that is necessary in various applications such as smartphones, wireless audio and video.

Actel IGLOO ultra-low-power FPGAs are ideal for next-generation handheld systems, such as smartphones and portable media players. With high I/O counts, low power and a rich feature set, Actel IGLOO devices enable design of handheld products to meet the tough market demands with ease.

Additionally, available targeted reference designs speed product development for many portable and battery-operated applications.

Three low-power capabilities
The Actel IGLOO families are designed to maximise usable power in many different ways. In Flash*Freeze mode, power drops to as low as 5µW, and no additional components are required to turn off I/Os or clocks while preserving the design information, SRAM content and registers.

I/Os can maintain their state during Flash*Freeze mode. Entering and exiting Flash*Freeze mode takes less than 1µs.

Additionally, the low-power active capability (static idle) allows for ultra-low power consumption while the IGLOO device is completely functional in the system, maintaining I/Os, SRAM, registers and logic functions.

This allows the IGLOO device to control the system power management based on external inputs (e.g., scanning for keyboard stimulus) while consuming minimal power.

In sleep mode, larger IGLOO FPGAs experience maximum power savings when the FPGA core voltage is powered down.

The ideal Level 0 live-at-power-up (LAPU) capability of Actel flash devices allows for rapid system wake-up from sleep mode.

Actel IGLOO FPGAs are 1.2V low-power programmable logic devices (PLDs) and consume 90% less static power and over 50% less dynamic power than 1.8V low-power PLD alternatives.

Actel IGLOO 1.2V operation often eliminates an additional DC/DC power converter for the 1.8V power rail, saving power, area and cost.

The flash-based Actel IGLOO devices do not suffer from high inrush current or battery-sapping configuration current each time the system is powered up.

Having a true ASIC-like power profile enables Actel IGLOO FPGAs to dramatically extend battery life relative to SRAM and Hybrid PLD alternatives.

Flash-based Actel IGLOO FPGAs are full-featured and include clock conditioning analogue PLLs for clock generation, on-chip SRAM and non-volatile user memory storage, all of which help eliminate parts and reduce total system power consumption and cost.

Battery life experiment
Using Actel IGLOO families can extend your product’s battery life dramatically.

Low-power devices are just the beginning
Actel’s IGLOO FPGAs are true single-chip devices, do not require configuration or other support components and offer a variety of small-footprint packages with high I/O pin count to match design needs.

Like digital ASIC, non-volatile flash-based IGLOO devices have the advantage of being a secure, low-power, single-chip solution that is Level 0 LAPU.

The Actel IGLOO devices are reprogrammable and offer time-to-market benefits, allowing users to quickly and easily upgrade and update the design in the final stages of manufacturing or in the field without non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges and at an ASIC-level unit cost.

Actel comprehensive power analysis tools
Actel provides accurate, comprehensive power analysis tools for IGLOO devices. These range from the power calculator (prenetlist) tool for device comparison to post-layout, in-depth analysis and reporting tools.

These tools provide an easy-to-use Power-Driven Layout (PDL) that can minimise design power by as much as 30%.

Prior to compiling a design, the enhanced spreadsheet-based power calculator helps in analysing design implementation options for rapid power analysis and design partitioning.

Enhanced power reporting for low-power Flash*Freeze mode and all other operating modes, enables the designer to calculate and predict total system power consumption, summing up power consumed in each mode.

The Actel Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE) SmartPower tool provides innovative netlist-based analysis capabilities.

Power reports are broken down by net, gate, I/O, memory, clock, core static, instance, and power rail. A design level power summary includes average switching activity, ambient temperature and junction temperature readings.

Actel power tools provide an accurate prediction that gives straightforward analysis of design options to help meet your system power budget.

Low-power solutions for portable devices
Actel provides a range of low-power solutions, such as storage and display interfaces, to help customers get to market fast. Embedded processors need to work with one or more of the popular storage interfaces such as IDE, CE-ATA, SDIO, or CF.

There is a pressing need to efficiently manage the interface for the storage devices by offloading the task from the processor to an FPGA. With its ultra-low power capabilities, ease of use and reprogrammability, an IGLOO FPGA is the ideal choice.

Actel IGLOO devices can manage interfaces between the VLIO or AMBA bus and the different types of storage devices.

Extensive application support
Actel provides application support for IGLOO FPGAs, including board-level schematics, IP cores and development platforms for low-power applications.

Reference designs and documentation are available for cost-sensitive portable electronics, such as handheld and mobile storage, GPS, PDA and smartphones, as well as portable medical and industrial applications.

The Actel IGLOO Ultra-low-power flash FPGAs are available in a wide range from Caelera .

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