Altera Offers First C-code-based DSP Design Flow for FPGAs

New Tool Flow Delivers the Benefits of Reconfigurable DSP Solutions To

Designers of DSP Systems

Sep 04, 2002, 01:00 ET from Altera Corporation

    SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 Altera Corporation (Nasdaq:   ALTR) today announced the availability of the FPGA
 industry's first C-code-based design flow for digital signal processing (DSP)
 systems.  This flow allows DSP software engineers to target programmable logic
 devices (PLDs), without having to learn hardware description language (HDL),
 thereby reducing the overall system cost and number of devices on their board.
     "By offering the programmable logic industry's first C-code-based design
 flow for DSP development, Altera opens the doors to a broad range of DSP
 designers who wouldn't otherwise use FPGAs," said Ahmed Shihab, technical
 director at Alcahest, a design consultancy active in the development of DSP
 systems.  "The combined capabilities of Altera's DSP Builder and SOPC Builder
 tools offer significant benefits to the entire DSP development community,
 allowing designers to use programmable logic for a wider range of DSP
     Altera provides users with industry-standard software development tools
 such as the GNUPro compiler and debugger, an open-source C/C++ development
 tool suite optimized for the Altera(R) Nios(R) embedded processor.  A key
 feature of this new flow is the support of 'C' function calls for DSP hardware
 accelerators, designed at the system level using The MathWorks' Simulink and
 Altera's DSP Builder tools.  Altera's comprehensive portfolio of more than
 60 DSP intellectual property (IP) cores can be used as function calls for the
 Nios processor.  This complete system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) design
 flow is handled seamlessly by Altera's SOPC Builder tool, including the
 integration of memory, communications peripherals, and processor busses.
     "For software engineers who have traditionally used 'C' code to implement
 their DSP designs with processors, using a familiar C-code-based design flow
 to target FPGAs is a big advantage," said Justin Cowling, Altera's director of
 intellectual property marketing.  "Altera is providing customers with the
 broadest and most cost-effective solutions based on Stratix(TM) devices, the
 highly successful Nios processor, and parameterizable DSP IP cores."
     Using IP cores as hardware accelerators instead of generic
 multiply-accumulators (MACs) allows algorithms to be executed up to 20 times
 faster.  For example, a FIR filter that executes in one cycle on an FPGA can
 take up to 20 cycles on a digital signal processor.
     More information on the new C-code-based DSP design flow can be found on
 the Altera web site at .
     Pricing and Availability
     Altera's complete C-code-based DSP design flow is supported now in DSP
 Builder version 2.0 and SOPC Builder version 2.6.  Subscription pricing for
 Altera's DSP Builder version 2.0 is $1,995 and includes 12 months of software
 upgrades.  The DSP Builder tool is available for download for a free 30-day
 evaluation from Altera's DSP Solutions Center at .
 SOPC Builder version 2.6 is now integrated with Altera's Quartus(R) II version
 2.1 design software, with subscription pricing of $1,995, including 12 months
 of software upgrades.  Simulink and MATLAB are available today from The
 MathWorks at .
     About the DSP Builder software
     DSP Builder interfaces the industry-leading system-level design software
 Simulink from The MathWorks with Altera's Quartus II design software.  DSP
 Builder provides a seamless design flow, allowing DSP engineers to design
 algorithms in MATLAB, enabling system integration in Simulink and porting to
 HDL for design in the Quartus II design software.  Designers can automatically
 generate an RTL design and RTL testbench from Simulink for quick timing and
 simulation.  Further easing the DSP engineer's transition to programmable
 logic, DSP Builder also enables floating-point to fixed-point analysis.  More
 details about DSP Builder can be found on the Altera web site at .
     About the SOPC Builder software
     SOPC Builder streamlines the process of integrating large blocks of IP and
 accelerates development of complex SOPC designs.  Designers can use the tool
 to quickly combine system-level components such as embedded processors,
 memories, peripherals, and user-created IP blocks to build their own custom
 SOPC.  For processor-based designs, SOPC Builder automatically generates
 custom software development environments for each ARM(R) or Nios processor
 included in the system.  SOPC Builder is now integrated with Altera's Quartus
 II design software, and ships automatically to all current registered Quartus
 II software and Niosembedded processor subscribers.  For more information on
 SOPC Builder, visit .
     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 .
     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.
 Simulink is a registered trademark of The MathWorks. MATLAB is a trademark of
 The MathWorks.  ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited.  All other
 product or service names are the property of their respective holders.
     CONTACT:  Ami Dorrell of Altera Corporation, +1-408-544-6397, or

SOURCE Altera Corporation