Power Electronics

IC Vendors Craft FPGA Power Solutions

Altera Corp., in conjunction with Bellnix Co. Ltd., Linear Technology, National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments Inc. and Volterra Semiconductor Corp., recently announced the availability of a complete power management solution for customers using Altera FPGAs. This collaboration, including the introduction of new PowerPlay technology in Quartus II software version 4.2, helps customers manage power consumption while optimizing the performance of their Stratix II designs.

Customers designing with Stratix II FPGAs can leverage defined solutions using voltage regulators, voltage supervisors, voltage references and reference designs from leading power management vendors.

“Bellnix has developed power supply solutions to optimize the performance of Altera’s leading-edge 90-nm Stratix II FPGAs,” said Shotaro Suzuki, president of Bellnix Co. Ltd. “Using Bellnix’s ultrafast, high-efficiency dc-dc converter BSV-H series, customers can expect superior stability and power characteristics for Stratix II FPGAs.” More information on Bellnix’s power management offerings can be found at www.bellnix.com/fpga/alterafpga.html.

According to Todd Reimund, Linear’s director of marketing, “Linear Technology offers compact solutions for powering all Altera FPGAs and CPLDs. Our solutions optimize Stratix II performance and simplify the power design by providing excellent transient response and precision low voltage regulation.” Learn more about Linear’s offerings at www.linear.com/designtools/Altera.jsp.

“National Semiconductor has developed best-in-class power management products and design tools to address the challenge of moving to 90-nm devices,” said Jeff Bessa, Americas marketing director for National Semiconductor. “We have worked with Altera to build reference designs, develop design tools and co-define new power management products that are optimized for use with Altera’s newest FPGAs. This allows our customers to implement complete power solutions with minimal effort.” More information about National Semiconductor’s offerings for Altera FPGAs can be found at www.national.com/see/alterafpga.

“TI leverages its comprehensive set of high-performance power management products and technical support to address every power management design requirement of tomorrow’s FPGA-based applications,” said Greg Waterfall, director of product development for TI’s power management products. “Customers using our library of reference designs can benefit from simplified power design when implementing Altera’s Stratix II FPGAs.” More information on TI offerings can be found at www.ti.com/alterafpga.

William Numann, vice president of marketing for Volterra Semiconductor Corp. said, “Volterra is pleased to offer a series of high frequency, integrated step-down switching regulators that are ideal for powering Altera’s Stratix II FPGAs. Our ultrasmall, highly efficient reference designs were chosen by Altera to provide their customers with an off-the-shelf solution that meets the challenging requirements of powering the Stratix II devices.” Learn more about Volterra’s offerings for Altera FPGAs at www.volterra.com/Altera.

Altera took many steps in the development of its 90-nm Stratix II and Cyclone II devices to control power consumption while delivering increased performance. Stratix II devices are the first high-performance, high-density FPGAs to utilize the combination of low-k dielectric material and a new, more efficient logic structure, called adaptive logic modules (ALMs), to obtain maximum performance while minimizing power consumption. Additionally, Altera optimized voltage thresholds, changed the length of transistors to maximize performance of critical paths and minimized static power of non-critical paths within the device.

“Customers require methodologies for optimizing design performance while managing static and dynamic power consumption at 90 nm,” said David Greenfield, Altera’s senior director of product marketing for high-density FPGAs. “Working with industry-leading vendors allows us to provide customers with the tools they need to manage power consumption and realize performance benefits when designing with Stratix II devices, the industry’s fastest FPGAs.”

Stratix II devices provide more than double the logic density and are on average 39% faster, and up to 200% faster in certain cases, than the nearest competitive FPGA devices. Its innovative logic structure allows designers to conserve device resources by packing more functionality into a smaller area. For more information about Stratix II devices, please visit www.altera.com/stratix2.

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