Horay for ST Microelectronics, Horay for Italy, Horay for Intel!, Horay for electronics industry in Europe

Today I readed a nice article on evertiq.com.

Link: http://www.evertiq.com/newsx/read_news.aspx?newsid=7202&a...


Titled: 'ST and Intel establish JV in Italy' I will be a 12-inch fab (plant).


To see where Catania is on the Map of Italy checkout the following: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=nl&q=Catania&a...



It's located in Sicilia, maybe I ask my boss to get a job in Catania, I like the food, the fish, the pasta, the women,... over there 




14:47 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: italy, st microelectronics, intel, catania, joint venture, job |  Facebook |

Design example for ACTEL fpga's with ARM Cortex-M1

Link: http://www.electronicstalk.com/news/ank/ank280.html


Synplicity and ARM have signed a joint marketing and collaboration agreement that includes a reference methodology for the recently launched ARM Cortex-M1 processor - the first ARM processor specifically designed for implementation on FPGAs.

09:13 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, arm, fpga, reference design, cortex-m1, softcore, processor, synplicity |  Facebook |


3.5 Million Dollar for cognitive radio project

Researchers Win $3.5 Million to Improve Wireless Technology

GeneralAtlanta, GA – A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has received a $3.5 million grant to use tiny, power-saving analog chips to develop portable communications technology capable of scanning a broad range of radio-frequency (RF) bands for open channels.

The resulting analog spectral processors (ASP), to be developed at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), would have a range of uses, from aiding battlefield communication to enabling cellular phones to find less-crowded frequencies.

ASP technology is related to the “cognitive radio” (CR) concept, which involves utilizing less-busy frequencies for optimal cell-phone and radio performance.

Farrokh Ayazi
, a GEDC researcher who is co-director of the Center for MEMS and Microsystems Technology (CMMT), is principal investigator on the project. The project, led by BAE Systems Inc, has received $11 million from DARPA, of which $3.5 million will go to Georgia Tech over three years. Purdue University is also on the BAE Systems team.

“The project’s goal is basically to create a small, low-power handheld device that combines a spectrum analyzer and a truly powerful communication device,” said Ayazi, who is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). “The spectrum analyzer would scan the frequency spectrum all the way from 20 MHz to 6 GHz to find empty spots—channels that are receiving less use.”

This extensive range would allow ASPs to be useful in a range of applications, Ayazi said. Such a wide-band spectral processor would help soldiers switch channels quickly to avoid enemy jamming measures at military-use frequencies, while also enhancing military and civilian communications at other frequencies.

"Prof. Ayazi’s award continues to establish the GEDC as a world leader in the development of technologies for cognitive radio applications,” said Joy Laskar, GEDC’s director and the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The GEDC is a major player in the IEEE 802.22 CR standard, and this award will look to provide critical enabling analog-technology blocks that should impact both the DoD and commercial markets.”

Farrokh Ayazi Photo
Farrokh Ayazi, a Georgia Tech professor and research team leader with the Georgia Electronic Design Center, holds prototypes of the reconfigurable narrow-band MEMS filter arrays used in analog spectral processing.
Two other DARPA-funded teams are also working on spectral processors. A Rockwell-led team includes the University of San Diego, Stanford and Cornell University, while Honeywell is leading a team includes the University of California Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

Central to the BAE Systems/Georgia Tech/Purdue effort will be extensive use of analog micro- and nano-mechanical circuits, rather than digital circuits, in designing spectral processors. In the analog domain, chips and other devices work by moving between signal levels in a continuous fashion, while digital chips and devices move between separate and discontinuous levels and do not recognize the transition between levels.

Micromechanical circuits have a number of advantages over electronic digital chips. They typically use far less power and run cooler than digital circuits, and are also smaller, offer much better communications quality, and are relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

“What we’re proposing is to solve the cognitive-radio problem in the analog domain rather than the digital domain, with virtually no added power,” Ayazi said.

To develop analog spectral processors, the Georgia Tech team will use micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which are tiny analog machines that operate at the microscale – one millionth of a meter.

To scan and move swiftly between far-flung frequencies, the researchers will use MEMS technology in constructing arrays of micro-mechanical resonators, also known as bulk acoustic-wave (BAW) resonators. These devices play a role in finding and holding a radio-frequency signal.

In constructing extensive arrays of signal-seeking BAW resonators, researchers must choose between two approaches. One is to use resonators to create an array of many fixed filters—each tuned to a specific frequency—that will cover the entire spectrum. The other approach involves tunable filters that can move back and forth to some degree between frequencies. Ayazi said that further research will determine the optimal approach.

The structural material of choice for acoustic-wave resonators will be nano-crystalline diamond, micro-machined to reach frequencies of up to 10 GHz.

Researchers will also use silver, the highest-conductivity metal, in micro-machining the analog arrays. Silver will aid in achieving high-quality inductors and capacitors, the components that aid tuning to a specific frequency.

“This is a very exciting challenge, and it also involves a lot of advancement in the packaging technology for MEMS,” Ayazi said. “These ultra-small micro-mechanical components must be free to move, so the packaging is totally different than the traditional integrated circuit.”

He explained that the packaging material — the substance that holds and protects the ASPs — cannot come into contact with the vibrating structures of the micro-mechanical resonators. Working at microscale, researchers must create a small cavity on top of the electronics to achieve a hermetic environment that will seal out damaging moisture.

A key to ASP packaging will be advanced organic materials that possess low signal-loss properties and are strong and semi-hermetic. Working with Prof. Paul Kohl of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ayazi will use specially-tailored polymers to develop an effective package for the filter arrays.

“The combination of all these elements will eventually produce an array of highly improved tunable filters,” Ayazi said. “We are basically looking for orders of magnitude improvement in performance, size and cost. The ultimate goal is to integrate ASP’s with high-speed electronics on a single chip and bring unprecedented capabilities to the wireless world.”

11:03 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: cognitive radio, asp, gedc, cr, rf, cmmt, bae systems, darpa, mems, baw resonators, wireless |  Facebook |

Bad periode for european fabs

It seems like it is going worse everyday with the European semiconductor industry.
We have some high-tech research facilities (IMEC, Crolles,...) but we can't produce or own chips in our continent?
Why is this? I don't know... But at the end of the story all the companies that are outsourcing their IC production
are not healthy because the market is like everyone does the same thing.
When you want to be a big good player you must have your own production, engineering and R&D.
When you outsource your production it can be that soon the factory that makes your product comes with the same product with another name 
Read the following related story about NXP outsourcing it's production of IC's to TSMC

NXP going fabless after 90nm.

NXP has now said that all its production will be sourced from TSMC for chips with more advanced processes than 90nm.

NXP's rationale for the move is that TSMC can provide processes better than 90nm so why go to all the trouble of developing your own?

Funny how quickly attitudes can change. When NXP was part of Philips, when Pasquale Pistorio ran STMicroelectronics, before Freescale was bought by private equity funds, it was held as axiomatic by all three companies that it was an important competitive advantage to have access to the most advanced digital CMOS processes, and that the only way to achieve that was by developing them yourself

That was the rationale for getting the EU to pour hundreds of millions of Euros into Crolles over the years. Now, all three companies have pulled out of doing basic advanced digital CMOS research at Crolles.

Now, it seems, it doesn't matter whether you develop basic advanced CMOS process technology or not. Instead you can go to a public foundry, which is open to all, and have your chips made on the same terms as everyone else.

"If every company goes to foundries, using the same processes and cell libraries as everyone else, what differentiation can a company offer customers?", asks Malcolm Penn, CEO of analysts Future Horizons, "five years down the road, when ST (and for ST read NXP as well) asks: 'Why haven't we got any customers', the reply will be: 'We can get this from loads of other people cheaper, now that they're making them in the Congo




R&D in Europe is not healthy

R&D paradigm shifting

An ongoing debate in Europe concerns the creation of the European Institute of Technology (EIT).

The EIT, a consolidated mega research center that would house both academic and industry projects, keep talent in the EU, and unite researchers in the 27 member states under the EU flag, may well end up being a reality in Brussels. Yet the EIT proposal from the European Commission continues to go through revisions, and the concept has many critics. All of this points to a bigger issue: Europe is headed toward an R&D crisis.

Europe has long been second in annual R&D spending to the leader, the United States, and in some sectors has fallen behind third-place Japan. Now Europe is facing new and strong forces in Asia when it comes to R&D.

According to a 2006 study on global R&D by the Battelle Memorial Institute, China has increased R&D spending annually about 17% over a 12-year period, compared to 4% to 5% for Europe and the United States. As China and India pour money into R&D, offer their cheap skilled labor, and grow their vibrant economies, both countries could move into the top tier of R&D spenders worldwide.

Moreover, R&D investment in Asia is accelerating. The Battelle report surveyed global businesses and asked if the companies planned to increase R&D in Europe in 2007. About 28% said yes, and 48% said no. When asked if they planned to increase R&D in Asia, the response was 65% yes, and 10% no.

"Now we recognize that China and India are challenging us, and that's the main reason this discussion has become much more intensive," says Esko Aho, former prime minister of Finland, who last year released an influential report on innovation in Europe.

"Europe is moving too slowly, and this can lead to a crisis when we are hit by a demographic revolution and its consequences."

At first glance, an R&D crisis seems strange. Europe has many world-class research institutes: IMEC in Belgium, Fraunhofer in Germany, and VTT in Finland, to name only a few. Livio Baldi, director of R&D cooperative programs for STMicroelectronics, calls it the European paradox: lots of world-class research pockets but a poor track record of commercializing the results.

"Europe has a lot of publications but very few patents and startups," he says.

Part of the problem is fragmentation. Pockets of research are not linked to a central hub, something the EIT is intended to resolve. Another issue has been talk instead of action. Europe's "Lisbon Strategy," a grand development plan launched in 2000, promised to reshape the EU into the "most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010. Targets for increasing R&D spending in member states were set but not met.

At a deeper level, cultural issues are to blame. Europe's risk-averse culture limits entrepreneurial drive, and organizational structures work to lock people in their place.

"We have no tradition of people moving from academia to government to business and back," Aho says. "Innovation required that type of mobility."

Aho says he believes that the proposed EIT could be a small part of a more comprehensive solution. Among the recommendations in his report was fundamental cultural change that would encourage mobility and promote more entrepreneurial risk taking.

Jules Duga, coauthor of the Battelle report, says that what is happening in Europe is merely early signs of a gradual but enormous rearrangement in global technology dominance due to the rise of Asian giants.

"Countries will have to determine their strengths, rearrange resources, and adjust over a period of time to a changing position in R&D on a global basis," Duga says. "Expect a shift in the overall R&D paradigm."

Source: Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine’s 2007 Global R&D Report


Success with IMEC and Synplicity's Synplify® Premier Software



Success with IMEC and Synplicity's Synplify® Premier Software
Click here to learn more about the Synplify Premier tool.

IMEC, a European nanoelectronics research institution, used Synplify Premier software from Synplicity to demonstrate that its C-programmable reconfigurable processor architecture ADRES is feasible for use in portable wireless multimedia devices. The entire processor system was successfully prototyped for a multimedia ADRES processor instance on a Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA through use of the Synplify Premier tool. The Synplify Premier product provided excellent support for achieving the required clock frequency. IMEC credits the Synplify Premier tool's built-in knowledge of the FPGA's physical characteristics for the accurate timing results that it delivers. The ADRES prototype system has been important for IMEC in showing that the ADRES processor architectural template and its corresponding C-compiler are sufficiently stable for use in portable devices. 
IMEC's ADRES Innovation Promises a New Future for Hand-held Multimedia Devices
IMEC of Leuven, Belgium is one of the world's leading independent research institutions in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on next generation chips and systems, and bridges the gap between university research and technology development in industry. IMEC's blend of know-how and corporate relationships position the organization to help shape key technologies for future systems. 
ADRES (Architecture for Dynamically Reconfigurable Embedded Systems) contains two views which are tightly coupled: an array of processing elements that runs the data flow part of the application and a VLIW that executes the control. For hand-held multimedia devices, this technology delivers enormous flexibility benefits over fixed ASICs because various video codec standards can be quickly and easily accommodated through C programming. In addition, ADRES-based processors offer power efficiencies six to twelve times higher than state-of-the-art C-programmed processors. 
With the demonstration IMEC has proven that processors based on the ADRES architecture can deliver sufficient performance. The multimedia ADRES processor instance was developed to support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC video decoding at resolutions ranging from QVGA up to D1. The demonstration employed the HAPS-32 from HARDI Electronics, which contains two Xilinx Virtex-4 LX200 FPGAs, as its prototyping board. IMEC constrained the FPGA clock input to 50 MHz to decode 30 frames/sec of H.264/AVC content at CIF resolution. 
Synplify Premier Tool Delivers the Necessary Performance 
IMEC began by synthesizing the design using the Synplify Pro product from Synplicity, the tool that had served the organization well for many years. Synplify Pro software came close to the goal at 46 MHz, but not close enough. 
"It was essential that we find a way to reach 50 MHz, and so we performed an investigation of the state of the art in FPGA synthesis," said Maryse Wouters, Activity Leader of the Integration Team. "Fortunately we found our answer, the Synplify Premier solution, which is capable of delivering the performance we needed. In fact it did even better than we had hoped, 52.6 MHz. Everyone was pleased with the performance gain."
"The reason why the Synplify Premier tool does the job better is that it understands the physical characteristics of the FPGA in fine detail and uses that knowledge to craft an optimal design," explained Wouters. "That's particularly important with the most advanced FPGAs on the market." 
Building on Synplify Pro technology, the Synplify Premier solution embodies its knowledge of an FPGA's specifics through a patented Synplicity technique called graph-based physical synthesis, which represents an FPGA's pre-existing wires, switches, and placement sites as a detailed routing resource graph. Graph-based physical synthesis produces rapid timing closure by automatically outputting timing-correlated legal placement and by considering availability of actual FPGA routing resources when measuring delays, rather than just physical proximity of instances. Unlike ASICs, in an FPGA physical proximity does not always correlate to timing delays, making ASIC-style physical synthesis approaches inaccurate when applied to FPGAs. Only graph-based physical synthesis can accurately estimate timing delays when performing physical synthesis.   
Graph-based physical synthesis also cut place-and-route runtimes significantly for IMEC. The total elapsed time for placement and routing was six hours with the Synplify Premier solution versus seventeen hours with the Synplify Pro tool. The reason is that in addition to performing synthesis, the Synplify Premier product actually places the design in a manner known to meet timing, and delivers a design that will be fully routable using the Xilinx ISE toolset. 
The correlation between the Synplify Premier solution's performance predictions and actuals was much better than IMEC had seen. The new tool predicted 51 MHz performance, which was very close to the actual result of 52.6 MHz.
IMEC's New Standard for Synthesizing 90 nm FPGAs and Below
With its flexibility to incorporate multiple video codec standards, the short time-to-market made possible by its high level language programmability, and its power efficiency, ADRES promises to play a major role in the next generation of mobile multimedia platforms. 
"Using an FPGA-based prototype platform, IMEC has demonstrated its C-programmable multimedia ADRES processor instance for real time H.264/AVC video decoding," said Wouters. "The performance gain that the Synplify Premier solution delivered was as promised in the Synplify Premier data sheet." 
Because of the excellent results it delivers, the Synplify Premier product has now become part of the tool flow at IMEC for future projects using leading edge FPGAs. "It is clear that for 90 nm FPGAs and beyond, the timing closure offered by the Synplify Premier tool is crucial," Wouters concluded. 
Click here to learn more about the Synplify Premier tool.


Thursday 22/03/2007: "Analog meets Digital on snow" seminar

Thursday there is a ACAL (ACTEL representative for Belgium) seminar planned. Here are the topics that will be handled:


Agenda :
        08:30 - 09:00 : Registration + Breakfast
        09:00 - 09:05 : Welcome (Guy Maertens MD Acal Belgium)
        09:05 - 11:00 : Power (Jens Hedrich FAE Linear Technology)
        11:00 - 11:15 : Coffee Break
        11:15 - 12:00 : Data Conversion (Jens Hedrich FAE Linear Technology)
        12:00 - 13:00 : Bruegelian Buffet
        13:00 - 13:15 : Igloo Launch (Vaughan Price Managing Director Actel Europe)
        13:15 - 13:45 : New Technology Solutions (Patrizio Piasentin Regional Sales Manager Actel)
        13:45 - 14:30 : System Management, µTCA, MotorControl (Luca Cattaneo ETM Actel)
        14:30 - 14:45 : Coffee Break
        14:45 - 15:30 : Low Power Design Tricks (Luca Cattaneo ETM Actel)
        16:00 - 18:00 : Ski & Snowboard Session + Snacks
        18:15 - 19:00 : Appetizers and Prize Giving


More information can be found here:


22:01 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: acal, actel, snow, fpga, actel europe |  Facebook |


Actel and ARM Develop High-Performance 32-Bit Processor Optimized for FPGAs

Actel Offers New Cortex-M1 for Use in Flash-based M1 ProASIC3 and M1 Fusion Devices

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 19, 2007 — Disclosing further details of its industry-standard processor portfolio, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced the availability of its implementation of the ARM® Cortex™-M1 processor, a small, high-performance, 32-bit soft core co-developed by the companies for optimal use in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Removing the license and royalty fees typically associated with licensing models for industry-leading processor cores, Actel offers free access to advanced ARM processor technology to the broad marketplace. The free delivery of the Cortex-M1 processor for use in Actel's flash-based, M1-enabled Actel Fusion and ProASIC3 FPGAs provides system designers programmable flexibility and system-level integration, enabling the development of low-cost, high-performance systems.

"With the significant increase in the use of FPGAs as flexible, cost-effective platforms for the rapid design of high-quality embedded systems, the introduction of an FPGA-optimized ARM processor enables us to serve the growing needs of companies who require highly programmable solutions," said John Cornish, vice president, marketing, Processors Division, ARM. "The unprecedented security benefits and advanced features offered by Actel's flash-based FPGAs make these devices an ideal vehicle for our high-performance processor technology."

Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing at Actel, added, "Evidenced by the success of our soft ARM7™ family processor core, designers continue to show great interest in implementing industry-standard 32-bit processor technologies in FPGAs. With the addition of the FPGA-optimized ARM Cortex-M1 processor, free of license and royalty fees, to our broad processor portfolio, system designers can select the solution that best meets their design requirements regardless of application or volume."

Cortex-M1 Processor and Actel's M1-Enabled FPGAs

Derived from ARM's three-stage Cortex-M3 processor pipeline, the highly configurable Cortex-M1 processor operates at up to 72 MHz in Actel's M1-enabled Fusion Programmable System Chip (PSC) or ProASIC3 FPGAs. Providing a good balance between size and speed for embedded applications, the core is able to be implemented in as few as 4300 tiles, roughly 20 percent of an M1A3P1000 ProASIC3 device or 30 percent of a mixed-signal M1AFS600 Actel Fusion PSC. The Cortex-M1 processor solution also connects to the industry-standard AHB bus, allowing designers to build a subsystem and easily add peripheral functionality to the processor.

With the increasing costs of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design, designers can benefit from a Cortex-M1 processor-based implementation in an FPGA due to reduced design time and a lower cost of entry into system-on-chip design, particularly for lower volume applications. However, for designs that scale to ultra-high volumes, the 32-bit Cortex-M1 processor runs the industry-standard Thumb® instruction set and is upward compatible with the Cortex-M3 processor, providing an easy migration path to ASIC implementation.

Actel's flash-based FPGAs, the mixed-signal M1 Actel Fusion PSCs and low-cost M1 ProASIC3 devices, are virtually immune to tampering, assuring users that valuable IP will not be compromised or copied. The single-chip devices also provide the low power, firm-error immunity and live at power-up capabilities that are inherent to all Actel FPGAs.

Comprehensive Tool Support

The Cortex-M1 processor is supported by the comprehensive tools and knowledge that currently exists for the ARM architecture, far surpassing the level of support offered for proprietary processors. Actel will support the Cortex-M1 processor with its CoreConsole IP Deployment Platform, its SoftConsole program development environment, and Actel Libero Integrated Design Environment—all available for free download from Actel's Web site. Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor is fully supported by the ARM RealView® Development Suite and RealView Microcontroller Development Kit. Third-party vendors, such as Aldec, CriticalBlue, CodeSourcery, IAR, ImpulseC and Keil™, an ARM Company, will also support the new processor with a host of tools—from compilers and debuggers to RTOS support.

Pricing and Availability

Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor will be available for early access in April. The M1A3P1000 ProASIC3 device and M1AFS600 Fusion PSC device will sample in Q3 2007 with production quantities in Q4 2007. Pricing for the M1 devices starts at $3.95. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel or visit the company's Web site at www.actel.com .

About Actel
Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit www.actel.com. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).

21:50 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: fpga, arm, 32-bit, softcore, core, ip, processor, actel, cortex-m1 |  Facebook |

ARM Extends Cortex Family With First Processor Optimized for FPGA

ARM Extends Cortex Family With First Processor Optimized for FPGA

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor enables OEMs to reduce development costs throughstandardization on a single architecture across FPGA, ASIC and ASSP

CAMBRIDGE, UK, March 19, 2007 — ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)] today announced the availability of the ARM® Cortex™-M1 processor – the first ARM processor designed specifically for implementation on FPGAs. The ARM Cortex-M1 processor extends the range of the ARM Cortex processor family and enables OEMs to standardize around a common architecture across the performance spectrum. Actel has worked with ARM as lead Partner and is the first licensee of the Cortex-M1 processor for use by their FPGA customers.

ARM and Actel will both be demonstrating the Cortex-M1 processor at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, Calif., April 2-5.

The Cortex-M1 processor enables OEMs to achieve significant cost savings through rationalization of software and tools investments across multiple projects spanning FPGA, ASIC and ASSP, plus greater vendor independence through use of an industry-standard processor. The Cortex-M1 processor is supported by leading FPGA synthesis vendors, software development tools, and real-time operating systems, giving FPGA designers unprecedented choice and flexibility.

"Gartner Dataquest maintains that FPGAs/PLDs have a very bright future," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president, Gartner Dataquest. "We expect solid growth (15.7 percent) to resume in 2008 and forecast the FPGA/PLD market to outperform semiconductors from 2008 onward."1
"The Cortex-M1 processor extends the reach of the ARM architecture in the FPGA domain, and advances our goal of providing processor solutions for the entire digital world," said Graham Budd, EVP and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. "By leveraging ARM's vast installed user base in the ASIC/ASSP and microcontroller markets, along with support from our own RealView® family of tools as well as product support from the ARM Connected Community, the Cortex-M1 processor will deliver significant savings to OEMs in terms of software development resources, tools, and training."

Actel has licensed the Cortex-M1 processor and will make it available at no additional cost to their customers. The FPGA-optimized Cortex-M1 processor offers users of Actel's flash-based M1-enabled Actel Fusion Programmable System Chips and ProASIC3 FPGAs a compact and efficient processor satisfying the requirements of a wide range of end applications. Actel will support the Cortex-M1 processor with its CoreConsole IP Deployment Platform, its SoftConsole program development environment and Actel Libero Integrated Design Environment – all available for free download from Actel's website.

"Following the success of our ARM7™ family-based solutions, Actel worked closely with ARM to optimize its Cortex-M1 processor for FPGA implementation from the ground up, making it an extremely valuable addition to our growing processor library," said Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing, Actel. "Free of the contract negotiations and fees typically associated with industry-standard processor cores, Actel will make the Cortex-M1 processor available to those companies who desire highly programmable solutions regardless of application or volume."

Tools and Peripherals Support

The Cortex-M1 processor will be fully supported by forthcoming releases of the ARM RealView® Development Suite and RealView Microcontroller Development Kit. The RealView Development Suite will include a complete instruction set system model (ISSM) allowing developers to create and test applications for the Cortex-M1 processor out of the box. Developers can easily customize the RealView Development Suite's debugger to visualize and interact withperipherals added around a Cortex-M1 processor, and will also be able to connect and debug applications running on Cortex-M1 silicon using ARM's high-performance RealView ICE and ULINK®2 run control units.

System performance and design turn around time are boosted further with ARM AMBA® compliant PrimeCell® peripheral IP, including ARM's latest ultra-efficient microDMA (PL230).
ARM Connected Community Partners, including CodeSourcery, Express Logic, IAR Systems, Mentor Graphics Inc., Micrium and Synplicity will all support the Cortex-M1 processor. For improved flow integration, the Cortex-M1 processor deliverables will include an IP description conforming to the IP-XACT standard from The SPIRIT Consortium.

Low area, high frequency and ease of use

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor is a streamlined three-stage 32-bit RISC processor that implements a subset of the popular, high density Thumb®-2 instruction set. This enables both the processor and software footprint to meet the area budget of the smallest FPGA devices, while retaining compatibility with Thumb code for any ARM processor from the ARM7TDMI® processor upwards.The Cortex-M1 processor is capable of more than 170 MHz, whilst occupying less than 15 percent area of popular low-cost FPGA devices. Despite being the smallest processor in the Cortex family, the Cortex-M1 processor can deliver 0.8 DMIPS/MHz. Typical applications for the Cortex-M1 processor on FPGAs include embedded control, communications, networking and aerospace.

More information on ARM solutions in FPGA is available from www.arm.com/fpga.


Free of license and royalty fees, Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor will be available for early access in April via the Actel website www.actel.com. The M1-enabled ProASIC3 and Actel Fusion PSC devices will sample in Q3 2007.

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor RTL and associated EDA views optimized for a range of FPGA vendor devices including Actel, Altera, Lattice and Xilinx will be available for license by OEMs in 2Q'07.

About the ARM Cortex Family of Processors

The three series in the ARM Cortex family enable chip manufacturers and OEMs to standardize around a single architecture from low-end microcontrollers to high-performance applications processors. Featuring Thumb-2 technology, the ARM Cortexfamily significantly reduces development costs and increases enterprise efficiency.

  • ARM Cortex-A Series: Applications processors for complex OS and user applications
  • ARM Cortex-R Series: Embedded processors for real-time systems
  • ARM Cortex-M Series: Deeply embedded processors optimized for microcontroller and low-cost applications

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, frommobile, home and enterprise solutions toembedded and emerging applications. ARM's comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, graphics processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company's broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.

About the ARM Connected Community
The ARM Connected Community is a global network of companies aligned to provide a complete solution, from design to manufacture and end use, for products based on the ARM architecture. ARM offers a variety of resources to Community members, including promotional programs and peer-networking opportunities that enable a variety of ARM Partners to come together to provide end-to-end customer solutions. For more information, please visit http://www.arm.com/community.


1. Gartner, Inc., "Forecast: ASIC/ASSP, FPGA/PLD and SLI/SOC Applications, Worldwide, 2002-2010 (4Q06 Update)", by John Barber and Bryan Lewis, December 4, 2006.

ARM, Thumb, RealView, PrimeCell and ARM7TDMI are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex and ARM7 are trademarks of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; AXYS Design Automation Inc.; AXYS GmbH; ARM Embedded Solutions Pvt. Ltd.; and ARM Physical IP, Inc.; and ARM Norway AS.

Contact: Stephanie Mrus, Actel Corporation, 650.318.4614

21:49 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: arm, fpga, actel, cortex-m1, oem |  Facebook |


ACTEL FPGA developers community

I just opened the ACTEL FPGA developers community which is a mailinglist of all Actel FPGA developers. It will be a meeting place from ACTEL FPGA developers all over the world. If you would like to know where people are working on with ACTEL fpga's just join the mailinglist.




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ACTEL FPGA developers
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Bètaversie van Google Discussiegroepen
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14:34 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, developers, community, fpga |  Facebook |


VHDL code for 7segment display

For some of your FPGA projects it can be usefull to get an 7-segment display driver circuit. There is no 7-segment LCD on my ACTEL fpga boards but I am sure you guys know how to work around this topic with your hands ;-)



VHDL code listing:


LIBRARY ieee;USE ieee.std_logic_1164.all;
D       : IN  STD_LOGIC_VECTOR (3 DOWNTO 0);  -- BCD input      
S       : OUT STD_LOGIC_VECTOR (6 DOWNTO 0)); -- 7 segment outputsEND seg7;
ARCHITECTURE display OF SEG7 ISBEGINs <=  	"1000000" WHEN d = "0000" ELSE       
      	"1111001" WHEN d = "0001" ELSE       
	"0100100" WHEN d = "0010" ELSE       
	"0110000" WHEN d = "0011" ELSE       
	"0011001" WHEN d = "0100" ELSE       
	"0010010" WHEN d = "0101" ELSE       
	"0000010" WHEN d = "0110" ELSE       
	"1111000" WHEN d = "0111" ELSE       
	"0000000" WHEN d = "1000" ELSE       
	"0010000" WHEN d = "1001" ELSE       
	"0001000" WHEN d = "1010" ELSE       
	"0000011" WHEN d = "1011" ELSE       
	"1000110" WHEN d = "1100" ELSE       
	"0100001" WHEN d = "1101" ELSE       	
	"0000110" WHEN d = "1110" ELSE       
END display;

13:05 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: fpga, vhdl, actel, 7-segment |  Facebook |


FPGA based arcadegame Frogger



Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkL3hWZxeTk

22:12 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: fpga, frogger, arcade game |  Facebook |

Aldec and Actel Deliver Co-verification Solution for ARM-based FPGA Design

Link: http://www.fpgajournal.com/news_2007/03/20070312_03.htm

Aldec and Actel Deliver Co-verification Solution for ARM-based FPGA Design

HENDERSON, Nev. & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aldec, Inc., a pioneer in mixed-language simulation and advanced design tools for ASIC and FPGA devices, today announced the release of CoVer™, a Windows®-based hardware/software co-verification solution, for Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL). Easing hardware and software integration for engineers using Actel’s field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) with an ARM processor, such as Actel’s CoreMP7 soft ARM7™ core, CoVer provides control and visibility across engineering teams, which translates into shorter design schedules and lower project costs.

“CoVer is the only product on the market offering hardware-accelerated HDL simulation environment for hardware designers and high-speed prototyping-like debugging for software developers, bridging the gap between system-on-chip (SoC) engineers,” stated Dr. Stanley Hyduke, president of Aldec, Inc. “This approach delivers fully synchronized debugging functionality of peripherals, ARM processors embedded in Actel devices and memories from tools like Active-HDL mixed-language simulator and a commonly used GDB debugger.”

Jake Chuang, senior director, application solutions marketing at Actel, said, “As more and more designers utilize industry-standard ARM processors in FPGAs, the abundance of software and support available, such as Aldec’s innovative CoVer hardware/software co-verification solution, enables designers to get system-level products to market quickly and reduce cost and risk.”

System Performance

Utilizing Aldec’s patented Smart Clock technology to enable fastest hardware verification and on-demand debugging, the CoVer technology is based on using two clock sources: an HDL simulator generated clock (sw clk) and a hardware oscillator generated clock (hw clk). The programmable Smart Clock unit constantly monitors the AHB Bus to identify bus transactions to Custom Peripherals simulated in HDL. Whenever the transaction to the programmed address range is detected, the system clock is switched to the HDL simulator, allowing for debugging of the AHB bus and peripherals. Once the transaction is completed, the clock is switched back to the hardware oscillator enabling processor debugging with a speed of prototyping solutions.

Hardware in-the-loop

The CoVer solution integrates the Active-HDL simulator with the board. The CoreMP7 processor memory and standard peripherals reside in Actel’s ARM-enabled M7A3P1000 ProASIC3 FPGA on the board. Aldec’s patented sw/hw interfacing allows for the simulation and debugging in Active-HDL waveform viewer. The board is connected to the workstation through 32/64 bit to 33/66MHz PCI slot, providing ease of use and high performance. Reprogrammable through PCI or JTAG, the reusable CoVer board can be used for any CoreMP7-based embedded design.


The CoVer solution provides engineers with a complete HW/SW co-verification toolset:

* Aldec Active-HDL (Designer Edition) mixed-language simulator
* Actel’s CoreConsole IP Deployment Platform
* Actel Libero® Integrated Design Environment (IDE) – Gold edition
* Reusable FPGA-based prototyping board with Actel’s ARM7-enabled ProASIC3 FPGA and CoreMP7 soft ARM7 core
* Software development system, including Actel’s SoftConsole program development environment


CoVer for Actel is available today for $4,995 and includes Active-HDL (Design Edition) mixed VHDL and Verilog, CoVer HW/SW co-verification software and the Actel Libero integrated design environment. All licenses are for one year and can be purchased from Aldec directly or from an authorized distributor sales@aldec.com.

About Aldec

Aldec, Inc., established in 1984, is committed to delivering high-performance, HDL-based design verification software for UNIX, Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms. Additional information on Aldec and all its products can be found at www.aldec.com.

About Actel

Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit www.actel.com.

CoVer and Active-HDL are trademarks of Aldec, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

22:09 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: arm, actl, co-verification, actel, fpga, hw sw, asic, vhdl |  Facebook |

Arasan Chip Systems Extends USB IP Offerings to Actel’s CompanionCore Program

Source: http://www.fpgajournal.com/news_2007/03/20070306_02.htm


SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arasan Chip Systems, Inc. (“Arasan”), a leading supplier of reusable intellectual property (IP) cores, semiconductors and design services, today announced that it has joined Actel Corporation’s CompanionCore Alliance Program. Arasan has optimized its USB 2.0 Host, USB 2.0 Hub, USB 2.0 Device and USB OTG IP cores for use with Actel’s flash-based, single-chip Actel Fusion, IGLOO, ProASIC3/E and ProASIC Plus field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). With these USB IP offerings, system designers have access to proven building blocks to streamline design and development, shorten time to market and reduce design costs and risks.

Actel CompanionCore products offer seamless implementation through Actel's suite of internal and third-party EDA development tools, documentation, and quality service and support, thereby streamlining the design process. Specific FPGA target data is available for each IP core on the CompanionCore Web site at http://www.actel.com/products/partners/companioncore/.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Actel in its CompanionCore program,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing at Arasan Chip Systems. “Our customers can confidently use these USB cores, and others that we intend to put into the program, knowing we have done all the work to optimize them for use in Actel’s FPGAs.”

Rich Brossart, Actel vice president, product marketing said, "Arasan’s USB IP solutions complement Actel's flash-based devices, including the company’s innovative Actel Fusion, IGLOO, and ProASIC3/E FPGAs. For customers requiring USB connectivity, the addition of Arasan’s USB 2.0 Host, 2.0 Hub, 2.0 Device and OTG cores to the Actel CompanionCore program will enhance designer productivity and versatility while reducing time to market."

Total Technology Solution

Arasan provides a total technology solution to all its licensees, including IP source code, a test environment, sample device drivers, synthesis scripts, and complete technical documentation. The total technology solution also includes optional product design development tools like the hardware validation platform and software targeted for Linux. Custom bus integration services are offered to integrate the IP in a customer specific manner. Available for purchase, Arasan’s validation platform is a stand-alone board used to ease compliance testing of as well as prototyping, including driver development.

Pricing and Availability

Licenses for the USB 2.0 Host, USB 2.0 Hub, USB 2.0 Device and USB OTG IP cores are available from Arasan in either synthesizable RTL or Actel-targeted netlist formats. The USB cores are available under special license terms. For more information on these IP cores, please visit Arasan at http://www.arasan.com or Actel at http://www.actel.com/products/ip/.

About Arasan

Arasan Chip Systems Inc. founded in 1995, is a leading supplier of Reusable Intellectual Property (IP’s) cores, semiconductors and electronic design services. Arasan’s product portfolio is focused on Bus Interfaces and includes IP’s for USB 1.1 & 2.0, PCI, SDIO and CE-ATA technologies. Arasan’s products and services enable businesses to develop and leverage product design and development. Arasan Chip Systems has been an executive member of SD Card Association since 2001, MMCA since 2003 and CE-ATA since 2004. Arasan is headquartered in San Jose, California, with design centers in India and support options available in Taiwan, China & Europe. Licensees of Arasan’s USB IP include companies like TI, Cisco, NEC, Staccato, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and General Atomics.

Visit: www.arasan.com for more product information.


Research in motion (From US and Europe to Asia)

Today I received my copy of the new EuroAsia Semiconductor magazine (if you are interested check out; http://www.euroasiasemiconductor.com.


The first page from this magazine was a so true story about the move of the Semiconductor Research... if I made you curious you can read it online at http://www.euroasiasemiconductor.com/news_full.php?id=7829


10:31 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: euroasia, semiconductor, research |  Facebook |


Binary Counter on ACTEL ProASIC3 FPGA by use of CoreABC

I have just created a binary counter on the CoreABC softcore from ACTEL (see code below). Create the project from coreconsole (CoreABC, CoreGPIO and CoreAPB) in the latest post on this blog and put the next lines of code into the softcore. enjoy it!



// Created by Vincent Claes

// If you want to use please add a comment on my blog

// http://mobile.skynetblogs.be


    JUMP $Main

    LOAD 0
    APBWRT ACC 0 0
    CALL $Wait500ms
    JUMP $LedOn  
    CALL $Wait500ms
    JUMP $LedOff

    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait40ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait10ms
    LOADLOOP 34998
    JUMP IFNOT LOOPZ $Wait10msInner

22:37 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, fpga, coreabc, coregpio, coreapb, binary counter, proasic3 |  Facebook |

Blinking leds by use of CoreABC, CoreGPIO and CoreAPB

According to the technical contacts I have within ACTEL it is not possible at this time to write the value you have in the accumulator to the parallel outputs on the softcore (CoreABC). In order to do something like this you have to experiment like me with the following cores in your coreconsole: CoreABC, CoreGPIO and CoreAPB.


Check out my set-up in coreconsole:


The program I have placed into the hard-tiles of the CoreABC are the following lines:

    JUMP $Main

$LedOff    APBWRT DAT 0 0 1
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedOn    APBWRT DAT 0 0 3
    CALL $Wait500ms
    JUMP $LedOff
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait40ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait10ms
    LOADLOOP 34998
    JUMP IFNOT LOOPZ $Wait10msInner
With thanks to ACTEL corporation for bringing us the CoreABC softcore processor and example 1 of this great softcore
Here we use the CoreABC processor as it is designed for... being a Master on the APB bus on our ACTEL fpga. the CoreGPIO is a slave core on this APB bus.
I implemented this program on my ProASIC3 A3P250 PQ208ES 0539 FPGA and the board I used for this is the A3PE-A3P-EVAL-BRD1 REV3.
Enjoy this sample.....

21:40 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: coreabc, actel, coregpio, coreapb, proasic3 |  Facebook |

LinuxLink Radio – Podcast for Embedded Linux Developers

Timesys launches a new rss feed that provides you with the newest podcast for embedded linux developers.


Check out this link and have a nice time listining to those coverages of diverse embedded linux subjects.


Hopefully there will be one day a podcast concerning embedded linux for FPGA projects ;-)

08:54 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: embedded, linux, fpga, timesys, podcast |  Facebook |


Running Led Continious Mode

Hi all,


If you want to expand the latest project 'running led' to continious mode this is very easy to do:


just do the following things: in your 'root vhdl file' change the following lines of code:


    -- Port list
        -- Inputs
        PCLK : in std_logic;
        -- Outputs
        IO_OUT : out std_logic_vector(7 downto 0)


Where the inputs are listed remove the NSYSRESET input.


In the Code also change the Port Map of the RTL code (look at the line NSYSRESET; I force it to be 1 that's the trick ):

-- Port map
        port map(
            -- Inputs
            INITADDR => (others => '0'),
            INITDATA => (others => '0'),
            INITDATVAL => '0',
            INITDONE => '0',
            INTREQ => '0',
            IO_IN => (others => '0'),
            NSYSRESET => '1', -- I removed: NSYSRESET => NSYSRESET,
            PCLK => PCLK,
            PRDATA => (others => '0'),
            PREADY => '1',
            -- Outputs
            INTACT => open,
            IO_OUT => IO_OUT,
            PADDR => open,
            PENABLE => open,
            PRESETN => open,
            PSEL => open,
            PWDATA => open,
            PWRITE => open



Connect the Clock to pin W17 and the IO to the 8 led's on the board.


Have fun with it

09:34 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, fpga, coreabc, vhdl, example, program, sample |  Facebook |

Running Led Program for CoreABC

I did a new sample program for the CoreABC from Actel (I progammed this on my M7A3PE600 FPGA. This program is a running led be sure to press the NSYSRESET button to run the program.


In your CoreConsole Project You just have to put a CoreABC softcore CPU and bring out IO, PCLK and NSYSRESET to the Top Level.


On the ARM7 Board you can connect PCLK to Pin W17, IO to the Led's and for instance NSYSRESET to pin U3



// Running LED
$LedOff    IOWRT 0
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedOne    IOWRT 1
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedTwo    IOWRT 2
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedThree  IOWRT 4
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedFour   IOWRT 8
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedFive   IOWRT 16
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedSix    IOWRT 32
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedSeven  IOWRT 64
    CALL $Wait500ms
$LedEight  IOWRT 128
    CALL $Wait500ms
    JUMP $LedOff

    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait100ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait40ms
    CALL $Wait20ms
    CALL $Wait10ms
    LOADLOOP 34998
    JUMP IFNOT LOOPZ $Wait10msInner

08:58 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: coreabc, actel, fpga, code, arm7 |  Facebook |


Interesting Presentation - Morgan Stanley about the future of high-tech communication

Today I found an interesting article on the future of high-tech communication systems (the economical aspect of it). It is a good starting point to learn how you can make some $$ in the future with building new communication platforms.


I have uploaded it to my personal Google webspace check it out here Presentation


Oh yes I forgot to mention: it is a presentation from Morgan Stanley (or is it MorganStanley???  ) and it is titled: 'Telesoft Partners EcoSystem Meeting'


enjoy it!


European challenge in the electronic industry

I have found a nice article for everyone interested in how Europe can train to be a leader in the electronic industry.


Check out this link: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&...=


The article is titled 'Cost Versus Quality - the Big Challenge for the European Electronics Manufacturing Industry'

15:05 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: europe, electronics, manufacturing |  Facebook |

Chinese economy slowing down?

China's economic growth to drop to single digits this year: report
Posted: 21 February 2007 1829 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

A customer looks at the engine of an SUV at a dealership of Chery Automobile

BEIJING : Economic growth in China in 2007 will drop to single digits for the first time in five years, state media reported Wednesday, citing a senior government researcher.

The world's fourth-largest economy is expected to expand by nine percent this year, the China Daily said, citing Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Development Research Center, a think tank attached to the Cabinet.

This is down from 10.7 percent in 2006, the fourth consecutive year when China saw double-digit growth.

Liu predicted China would probably see growth rates of seven to eight percent in the coming decade, supported by the real estate and automotive sectors, the paper said on its website.

The paper did not provide a reason for the moderate slowdown in the economy beginning this year.



Link: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...


14:58 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: slow, china, real-estate, automotive, asia, economy |  Facebook |


Blinking Led on ProASIC3 by use of CoreABC microcontroller

The next few lines are an introduction (if you like: a step-by-step guide, a tutorial) on how to use the CoreABC processor core on a ProASIC3 (A3PE-A3P-EVAL-BRD1) board. It shows you how to set up the core, how to copy/paste a working example program and how to use this program.


Enjoy it!


The first thing you have to do is start up the CoreConsole tool from ACTEL. You have to create a new project for this tutorial. In this project place 1 CoreABC block on the 'workspace'. After you have done this you have to make some settings: like there are: Connecting PCLK, NSYSRESET and IO to the Top level of your design. Another thing you have to do is configuring the softcore for using it with ProASIC3 FPGA's. (see also screenshots below).





On the second screenshot be sure you click the 'Program' Tab and put the following code in it:


JUMP $Main







$LedOff    IOWRT 0

    CALL $Wait500ms

$LedOn    IOWRT 1

    CALL $Wait500ms

    JUMP $LedOff



    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait20ms


    CALL $Wait40ms


    CALL $Wait20ms


    CALL $Wait10ms



    LOADLOOP 34998



    JUMP IFNOT LOOPZ $Wait10msInner





After this you just have to set up a new project in Libero IDE and import the core in this project (see screenshot).


Normally there are no green icons on your programming way yet (I took this screenshot after I had fully programmed my fpga).


Hit the Synthesis tool (Synplicity Actel Edition) and push the Run button in this program.


After this step you have to use the Place&Route tool. Be sure to make the following settings:


Remember that pin 26 is the clock on this Actel ProASIC3 board.

After you have created the stpl file from the Place&Route tool you can Program the FPGA by use of the FlashPro Tool




When you want to test the program you just have created just press the SW1 button on your board.


Enjoy this tutorial on implementing the CoreABC softcore on a ProASIC3 FPGA.


(The problem I had the first time I tried this was that I didn't connect the NSYSRESET pin to the top level).


I used an ProASIC3 A3P250 PQ208ES 0539 FPGA.



For Screenshots please see the following WORD document: Screenshots


22:08 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: softcore, fpga, coreabc, actel, tutorial, proasic3 |  Facebook |


Working with Google Codesearch

Hi all,


ready for some geek google stuff?


there is a searchengine called 'Google Code Search' where you as a  developer in the electronic world can get many help from ( or ideas ) Here a few examples:


go to this website: http://www.google.com/codesearch

type: SPI lang:vhdl

quicklink: http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=SPI+lang%3Avhdl&hl...


and there you go, the VHDL code for an SPI interface.


Whatch the following example: Hello world for C++:



enjoy this feature of google!

12:24 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: google, c, vhdl, codesearch, spi interface |  Facebook |


Actel Champions Embedded Systems Designers with Broad Range of Industry-Standard Processor Solutions

I copy/paste this article to my blog because I like Actel FPGA and would like to promote this wonderfull things.
Actel Contact:
Stephanie Mrus
Actel Corporation
Actel Media Contact:
Shannon Jamison
Porter Novelli
408-369-4600 x630

Actel Champions Embedded Systems Designers with Broad Range of Industry-Standard Processor Solutions

Company Expands Highly Configurable Offering with Industry’s Smallest Soft Micro and New 8051 Controller Core

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., January 29, 2007 — Delivering on its strategy to support embedded systems designers with a comprehensive portfolio of processor solutions, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today introduced two free controller cores; the small, easy-to-use CoreABC and the configurable Core8051s. These cores complement the company’s existing library of industry-standard options, including a variety of ARM, 8051 and LEON processor solutions, optimized for Actel’s field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). In addition to third-party tools and capabilities, Actel also offers a comprehensive development environment, boards and reference designs to support its processor offerings. This ecosystem of tools and support enable Actel customers to get system-level products to market quickly and reduce cost and risk.

"The abundance of software and support available for industry-standard architectures eliminates the pain typically associated with adopting proprietary technologies," said Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing at Actel. "Our growing processor portfolio enables embedded systems designers to select the best processor for their application and combine it with the core benefits offered by Actel’s flash-based FPGAs – ease of design, reprogrammability, and reduced development cost and risk."

Brossart continued, "Moving forward, we plan to continue the development of optimized processor solutions based on industry-standard architectures, enabling customers to further exploit the processors and tools they are familiar with when using Actel's innovative FPGAs."

Actel Expands Processor Library with Free, Easy-to-Use Cores

A powerful and easy-to-use solution for a broad range of embedded control applications, Actel's CoreABC is the industry's smallest and first RTL-programmable soft micro for FPGAs. The free controller features deterministic operation, very fast I/O response (less than 100 nanoseconds) and supports the advanced peripheral bus (APB) interface. Designers are able to use CoreABC in small Actel devices, such as the flash-based, low-cost A3P030 ProASIC3 device, because the free controller can be implemented in as few as 241 tiles and used without RAM or ROM resources. Implementation starts at less than 10 cents per instantiation.

Compatible with the industry-standard 8051 ASM51 instruction set, Core8051s allows designers to take advantage of the vast array of existing industry tools, knowledge and application software for the 8051 architecture. The controller, a higher performance version of the company's popular Core8051, features one clock per instruction throughput and supports a range of configurable peripheral functions. Core8051s connects to the APB bus for easy integration with other APB peripherals using Actel's CoreConsole tool.

Software, Support Critical to Design Success

To support its broad portfolio of processor solutions, Actel delivers a comprehensive development environment, including the Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE), CoreConsole IP deployment platform, and SoftConsole software program development environment, as well as boards and reference designs. The processor cores are also supported by third-party tools and capabilities – from highly efficient C-compilers and co-verification solutions to advanced hardware acceleration. Key partners and third-party suppliers include Aldec, CriticalBlue, IAR, ImpulseC, and Keil.

Like all Actel processors, the two new free cores operate with the industry-standard AMBA bus interface enabling flexible, cost-effective system-on-chip (SoC) solutions across a broad range of markets and applications. Intellectual property (IP) vendors worldwide support the AMBA bus with a large number of peripheral IP cores, enabling designers to find and implement the specific functional elements needed for their embedded designs.

Pricing and Availability

Actel's DirectCore processors, including the new CoreABC and Core8051s, are available free of charge via Actel's CoreConsole software. The cores can be used in Actel single-chip FPGAs, including the Actel Fusion™, IGLOO™ and ProASIC3™ families. The fault-tolerant LEON3 processor core, optimized for Actel's military, aerospace and high-reliability customers, is available from Actel's CompanionCore partner Gaisler Research. For more information, please visit www.actel.com/products/ip.

About Actel
Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit www.actel.com. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).

The Actel, Actel Libero, Actel IGLOO, Actel ProASIC3 and Actel Fusion names and logos are trademarks of Actel Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.


Link: http://www.actel.com/company/press/2007/1/29


23:27 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, fpga, igloo, libero, proasic3, leon, arm, 8051, core8051s, coreabc |  Facebook |


Get your fingers ready for the new mobile Phone from Apple (iPhone ?) or the openmoko phone

Maybe it is time to train for the next generation of mobile phones. If you want to be an expert in using the next gen phone you can visit the following site:



Have fun with it


Oh and yes, when in march the iPhone will be launched you will be an fast-user of the devices ;-)


21:52 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: mobile phone, next generation, expert, iphone, apple |  Facebook |


Achronix gets money for multi-Ghz FPGA!

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Achronix Semiconductor Corporation, the multi-GHz Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) company today announced that it has completed a $25.4 million Series A Preferred Stock financing. New York-based New Science Ventures and Waltham-based Battery Ventures led the transaction, which also included Entrepia Ventures and Easton Capital Investment Group. Larkspur Capital Corporation advised Achronix and acted as the placement agent for the transaction.

"The Achronix solution is compelling because multi-GHz performance can be achieved with an architecture and toolset familiar to existing designers," said Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner of New Science Ventures. "The company is uniquely positioned to address the $20+ billion high-performance segment of the global ASIC/ASSP/FPGA market."

"Over the years we have evaluated many companies in this space and we never invested until now," said Morgan Jones, General Partner from Battery Ventures. "Achronix is clearly differentiated from the other players by its technology, its strategy, its team, and its ability to execute."

The Achronix financing is one of the largest technology Series A rounds in the last several years and comes on the heels of more than two years of self-funded development by Achronix that resulted in proving multi-GHz performance in silicon, executing strategic partnerships with key electronic design automation providers, and recruiting a management team of successful Silicon Valley veterans.

"We are very excited to be backed by such a high quality group of financing partners with proven track records of success in building great technology companies," said John Lofton Holt, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Achronix. "This level of financing, when combined with our proven technology and our world class team, will allow us to deliver unprecedented performance to our customers in 2007 and beyond."

About Achronix Semiconductor

Achronix Semiconductor is a privately held fabless corporation based in San Jose, California. Achronix builds the world's fastest field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) achieving 2 GHz system performance. FPGAs are reconfigurable devices, enabling short time-to-market and field upgrades. Applications of FPGAs include communications, networking, high performance computing, digital signal processing, aerospace and defense systems, medical imaging, and a growing range of other areas. Information about Achronix can be found on the Internet at http://www.achronix.com/ .

About New Science Ventures

New Science Ventures, LLC is a New York-based venture capital fund focused on science-based investments with the potential to create order of magnitude improvements in costs or performance. Previous investments have been in the semiconductor, life science, and material science sectors. NSV's portfolio includes investments in the US, Europe, India and China and is balanced between early and late stage companies.

About Battery Ventures

Since 1983, Battery has been investing in technology and innovation worldwide. The firm partners with entrepreneurs and management teams across technology sectors, geographies and stages of a company's life, from start-up and expansion financing, to growth equity and buyouts. Battery has supported many breakthrough companies around the world, including: Airespace (acquired by Cisco), Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Cbeyond (CBEY), LIFFE (acquired by Euronext), Neoteris (acquired by NetScreen Technologies), and SigmaTel (SGTL). Its current portfolio includes emerging firms such as Advent Solar, Lion Cells, Netezza, Spot Runner, and Tejas Networks, as well as more established companies such as ITA Software, Made2Manage, MetroPCS, and Nova Analytics.

From offices in Boston, Silicon Valley and Israel, Battery manages more than $2B in committed capital. For more information, visit http://www.battery.com/ .

About Entrepia Ventures

Entrepia Ventures invests in private, technology-based, expansion-stage companies that stand to benefit from market or technology affiliation with Japan. Operating out of offices in Santa Clara, Montreal and Tokyo, Entrepia helps its portfolio companies generate incremental top-line growth to become more competitive, successful and valuable. Anchored on access, relationships, a hands-on approach, and on-the-ground presence, Entrepia's "Japan link" strategy is directed towards investment opportunities worldwide in IT, communications, electronics and core technologies.

About Easton Capital Investment Group

Easton Capital Investment Group is a New York-based venture capital firm with a broad portfolio of investments, primarily in growth capital and healthcare opportunities. It currently invests through two funds, Easton Capital Partners LP and Easton Hunt New York LP. Easton's target investments are well-managed companies characterized by differentiated products addressing major unserved markets. Easton's partners have more than 180 years experience in venture capital, having managed more than $1.5 billion in assets. Easton has offices in Manhattan and Florida. For more information, visit http://www.eastoncapital.com/ .

About Larkspur Capital (Placement Agent)

Larkspur Capital Corporation is an NASD Broker dealer that structures and finances acquisitions and expansions through the private debt and equity markets. Since 1995, Larkspur has been active in a broad range of industries including technology and healthcare. It is based in New York City.

Achronix Semiconductor Corporation

CONTACT: Greg Martin of Achronix Semiconductor Corporation,
+1-408-889-4142, greg@achronix.com

Web site: http://www.achronix.com/

Disaster for European High-Tech

I don't feel good about the electronic industry in Europe at the moment, there are to few companies left that are pure European. It is time to work for the future, to invest in jobs... not like we are doing at this time we have to start up our economic rocket engine...


If we keep doing like this the semiconductor industry in Europe will be soon death.


Disaster for European High-Tech

It is a major blow for European high-tech as Crolles2 unravels with first NXP, and now Freescale, pulling out, leaving STMicroelectronics on its own with TSMC as a kind of junior partner.

Without Crolles 2 as a beacon of EU-subsidised process technology R&D, a lot of European work on related technologies, such as production equipment, will be de-emphasised.

Jobs will go at Crolles, and those are the jobs of highly skilled scientists and technologists which Europe should be doing its best to increase, not diminish.

OK, so there’s IMEC, but IMEC can only expand in so far as it has commercial contracts requiring more personnel, and IMEC already has most of the available major CMOS practitioners signed up.

Crolles 2 partners NXP and Freescale, both now under the yoke of private equity firms’ tight accounting procedures, are running for cover to where they know best.

For Michel Mayer, CEO of Freescale, where he knows best is IBM, his old company. He is to give up Freescale’s involvement in Crolles2 and throw in his lot with IBM’s process technology team.

NXP is to throw in its lot with TSMC, co-founded by NXP’s former owner Philips, and a long-time partner of NXP for foundry and technology exchange.

When Jacques Chirac, President of France, opened Crolles 2 a couple of years ago, he would doubtless have been appalled if he’d had an inkling that two of the three partners in such a flagship project for European technology prowess could pull out so abruptly.

To the EC funding bodies, these defections will be a breach of trust which may imperil future funding of high-tech R&D by the European public authorities.

After the shedding of European-based labour by the big semiconductor companies following on the 2001 tech collapse, the EC authorities were already sceptical about the European high-tech companies' claims that they were long-term job creators.

Now the authorities will be even more sceptical when it comes to considering future requests for public funding of high-tech projects.

Whichever way you look at it, this is a disaster for European high-tech.

Where will the benefit of years of EU-subsidised work at Crolles go? Who will reap the rewards from the multi-hundreds of millions of Euros contributed by the EC and by European national governments?

The answer is a few rich guys at the private equity funds, and a handful of the managers at NXP and Freescale who have profits-sharing, targets-based, contracts with their new owners.

How they must be laughing at the poor old European tax-payer.


Article from:


15:46 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: crolles2, electronic, economic, imec, disaster, stmicroelectronics, nxp, tsmc |  Facebook |

At least: ACTEL FPGA's for non-big companies

Read this article: http://www.sys-con.com/read/326169.htm


I hope this will contribute to the rise of an 'ACTEL FPGA community' with more Application Notes, Open-source stuff, development boards, website and other 'non-ACTEL' Actel FPGA stuff'.


MANSFIELD, Texas and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mouser Electronics, Inc., the fastest growing distributor in the electronics industry, and Actel Corporation , the leading supplier of nonvolatile field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technologies, today announced that the two companies have signed a global distribution agreement. This partnership complements Actel's existing distributor relationships and expands Actel's reach to customers seeking readily available, small-volume quantities. Customers can browse and purchase Actel's products through Mouser's printed catalog or directly from their website at http://www.mouser.com/actel . Later this month, Actel will also offer a "Buy Online" capability powered by Mouser on Actel's own website at http://www.actel.com/ .

Mouser's inventory includes the flash-based ProASIC3 and ProASIC Plus families, the antifuse-based MX, eX, SX-A and Axcelerator solutions, starter kits for the Actel Fusion, ProASIC3/E, ProASIC Plus and Axcelerator families, as well as the Silicon Sculptor3, FlashPro3 and FlashPro Lite programmers and adaptors.

"The ability to purchase smaller quantities of board-level components via credit card and start designing with them within 24-48 hours is quickly becoming a need, rather than a 'nice to have', for designers around the globe," said Dennis Kish, Actel senior vice president, sales and marketing. "Working with Mouser's efficient online global distribution capabilities, we can extend the availability of Actel's FPGAs, providing even more customers with solutions that deliver the power, security, reliability, and total system cost advantages they require."

"We're pleased to offer Actel's innovative FPGA products to our engineering customers for their new design projects," said Mike Scott, Mouser Vice President of Active and Passive Components. "We're also pleased to help Actel gain new customers and penetrate new markets through our innovative marketing programs."

According to Scott, the distribution agreement with Actel is in keeping with Mouser's unique business model of rapid introduction of the newest, most innovative products and the latest technologies, further enhancing the distributor's time-to-market advantage for their design engineering customers.

Mouser reaches a unique customer base of diverse business accounts that represent a wide range of small, medium and large companies, as well as individuals and consultants who recommend, specify and purchase board-level components for product designs that other distributors don't reach.

The distributor's broad-based product line, unsurpassed customer service, and streamlined warehouse operations make Mouser the design engineer's one- stop shop for all the board-level components and associated development tools necessary for total project design.

About Mouser

Mouser Electronics, Inc. is an electronic component distributor, focused on the rapid introduction of new products and technologies to electronic design engineers. Mouser.com features over 735,000 products online from more than 300 manufacturers. Mouser's 1,800+ page catalog is published every 90 days, providing designers with up-to-date data on the components now available for the next generation of electronic devices. Mouser ships globally to over 280,000 customers in 170 countries from its 432,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility in Mansfield, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.mouser.com/ .

About Actel

Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit http://www.actel.com/. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).


Mouser and Mouser Electronics are registered trademarks of Mouser Electronics, Inc. All other products, logos, and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The Actel, Actel Fusion, ProASIC3/E, ProASIC Plus, Axcelerator, Silicon Sculptor3, FlashPro3 and FlashPro Lite names and logos are trademarks of Actel Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Actel Corporation

CONTACT: Stephanie Mrus, Senior Manager, Public Relations of Actel
Corporation, +1-650-318-4614, or stephanie.mrus@actel.com; or Marketing
Communications Manager of Mouser Electronics, Inc., +1-817-804-3857, or fax,
+1-817-804-3803, or ellie.rovai@mouser.com

Web site: http://www.mouser.com/

Web site: http://www.actel.com/

11:19 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: hobby, mouser, fpga, actel |  Facebook |