Altera Enables Gibson Guitar to Spread MaGIC Altera Products Replace Competitive FPGA and Off-the-Shelf Processor to Lower

Costs of Adoption for Revolutionary Media Protocol



International Consumer Electronics Show 2004, LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Altera Corporation (Nasdaq:   ALTR) and Gibson Guitar
 announced today that Gibson has employed Altera's Cyclone(TM) devices and
 industry-leading Nios(R) processor to speed adoption of a media protocol
 designed to solve the problem of the myriad connection standards that plague
 the professional audio industry.  Using Altera(R) products to replace a
 microprocessor and a competitive FPGA enables Gibson to offer a compact,
 low-cost connection module that will increase the use of the Media-accelerated
 Global Information Carrier (MaGIC) protocol, advancing the state of digital
 audio connectivity to a new level.  Developed by Gibson Labs, the MaGIC
 protocol has been demonstrated with the Gibson Digital Guitar, winner of the
 prestigious Innovations 2003 Award in the Personal Electronics category and
 Best in Show finalist at the 2003 Embedded Systems Conference in San
 Francisco.
     "Replacing a more expensive FPGA and microprocessor with a single Cyclone
 FPGA running a Nios processor enabled us to develop a smaller, lower-priced
 Universal MaGIC Module that allows MaGIC connectivity to be added to any
 instrument or piece of equipment easily and efficiently," said Henry
 Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar.  "The availability of this
 simple, cost-effective means of integrating MaGIC into existing instruments
 and equipment will accelerate its adoption in the music industry, and
 potentially into video and smart home networking applications as well."
     Gibson Labs initially used an off-the-shelf processor and a non-Altera
 FPGA to prototype their MaGIC technology.  The advent of Cyclone devices and
 the Nios processor allowed them to integrate the processor functionality into
 an Altera FPGA, reducing a two-chip solution to a single-chip solution.  The
 reduction in board space and component count enabled Gibson to shrink their
 Universal Magic Module, lower its cost, and increase its reliability.  Gibson
 now has the flexibility to add features or enhancements to the module, even
 while it is deployed in the field, by changing the software for the Nios
 processor or by reconfiguring the Cyclone device.
     "Gibson's name is synonymous with bold and elegant innovations in the
 music industry," said Erik Cleage, senior vice president of marketing at
 Altera.  "Their choice of Cyclone FPGAs and the Nios processor reflects a
 larger trend among industry bellwethers in the consumer marketplace towards
 relying on Altera products to meet the unrelenting demands for more features
 and high flexibility at the lowest cost.  By pioneering this revolutionary
 technology, Gibson promises to bring widespread benefit both to industry
 insiders and to music lovers everywhere who will enjoy the results."
 
     About MaGIC
     The Gibson Digital Guitar brings the 1930s technology of today's electric
 guitar into the digital age opening a virtually unlimited array of musical
 possibilities for guitarists.  The MaGIC technology developed by Gibson Labs
 stands for Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier and is designed to
 replace all wiring systems in the musical instrument field and in consumer
 electronics applications.  MaGIC converts the analog signal into a high
 quality digital signal inside the guitar.  Available early 2004 from Gibson
 USA.
 
     About Gibson Guitar Corp
     Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major
 style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars,
 mandolins, and banjos.  Gibson's digital guitar, introduced in 2002,
 represents the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years.
 Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, MI, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984,
 Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Valley
 Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Trace Elliot, Maestro,
 Baldwin, Ellington, Chickering and Wurlitzer.  Visit Gibson's website at
 www.gibson.com.
 
     About the Cyclone Device Family
     Built from the ground up to ensure the lowest possible cost, Cyclone
 devices are the industry's lowest-cost FPGAs available today.  Cyclone devices
 are manufactured on TSMC's advanced 0.13-micron, all-layer-copper process and
 were developed to provide designers of high-volume, price-sensitive
 applications the flexibility of an FPGA at ASIC prices.  With support for
 leading-edge and emerging I/O standards, the Cyclone device family includes
 embedded RAM blocks and other features to put FPGA technology in the hands of
 designers developing volume-driven applications in the automotive, consumer,
 and computing markets.  For more information about the Cyclone device family,
 visit www.altera.com/cyclone.
 
     About the Nios Embedded Processor
     Currently the world's most widely licensed soft-core embedded processor,
 Altera's Nios general-purpose RISC CPU can be integrated with a wide array of
 peripherals, custom instructions, and hardware acceleration units to create a
 custom system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solution.  Featuring a 16-bit
 instruction set and user selectable 16- or 32-bit data paths, configurable for
 a wide range of applications and consuming minimal device space, the Nios
 processor facilitates complex system designs.  While royalty-free when used in
 Altera FPGAs and HardCopy(TM) devices, a royalty-based ASIC license for OEM
 applications is also available.  For more information, visit
 www.altera.com/nios.
 
     About Altera
     Altera Corporation is the world's pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip
 (SOPC) solutions.  Combining programmable logic technology with software
 tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides
 high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide.
 More information is available at www.altera.com.
 
     NOTE:  Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera
 logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as
 trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks
 and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.  All
 other product or service names are the property of their respective holder.
 
     Editor Contact:
      Martin S. Won            Caroline Galloway
      Altera Corporation       Gibson Guitar
      408-544-6397             440-338-3469
      newsroom@altera.com      caroline.galloway@gibson.com
 
      Walter Carter
      Gibson Guitar
      615-871-4500
      walter.carter@gibson.com
 
 

SOURCE Altera Corporation
RELATED LINKS
http://www.altera.com

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