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Actel Claims To Usher In Era Of 'Programmable System Chip'

The horizontal integration of analog, memory, logic, and other functions on one chip has the potential to alter the current landscape of system design," a Semico analyst says.

SAN FRANCISCO — Billing it as the launch of the era of the "programmable system chip" (PSC), Actel Corp. Monday (July 18) introduced a new technology known as Fusion, designed to bring true programmability to mixed-signal solutions.

According to Actel (Mountain View, Calif.), Fusion is the first technology to integrate mixed-signal analog capabilities with flash memory and FPGA fabric in a monolithic PSC. The company said the technology takes advantage of the properties of Actel's flash-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

"End applications continue to demand increased flexibility, configurability and performance, while at the same time reducing power demands, board space and cost," said Rich Wawrzyniak, senior analyst at Semico Research, in a statement issued by Actel Monday. "The horizontal integration of analog, memory, logic and soft MCU implementations in a single chip has the potential to create new markets and alter the current landscape of system design."

Actel said it is developing a series of major tool innovations to support Fusion technology. The tools, implemented as extensions to Actel's Libero integrated design environment, are designed to allow designers to easily instantiate and configure peripherals within a design, establish links between peripherals, create or import building blocks or reference designs and perform hardware/software verification.

Actel said initial products based on Fusion technology would be available in about six to nine months.

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