NUREMBERG, GERMANY: At the Embedded World conference, Actel Corp. unveiled SmartFusion, the world’s first intelligent mixed signal FPGA.
Available in production quantities, SmartFusion devices feature Actel’s proven FPGA fabric, a complete microcontroller subsystem built around a hard ARM Cortex-M3 processor and programmable analog blocks on a flash process. Embedded designers no longer have to compromise. Now, they can easily build the system they want, with all the features they need, on a single chip.
“SmartFusion gave us the resources to build a highly-agile smartgrid sensor with greater flexibility in a smaller package,” said David Brain, CTO Smartgrid Technologies. “The integration of a state-of-the-art embedded ARM processor with on-chip analog to digital conversion and the ability to build custom features in the uncommitted gate array is an unbeatable combination.”
“The launch of Actel’s SmartFusion represents a step forward in intelligent FPGA design and also demonstrates the rapidly growing momentum behind the ARM Cortex-M3 processor in a wide range of applications,” said Eric Schorn, vice president, marketing, processor division, ARM. “In addition to exploiting the Cortex-M3 processor’s industry leading high-performance and low power features, SmartFusion licensees are also able to access ARM’s vast ecosystem of more than 600 Partners, providing tools, software and middleware optimized for the ARM architecture.”
The combination of three programmable elements--logic, a microcontroller subsystem and analog--makes the SmartFusion family a fully-customizable, easy-to-use system design platform. Embedded designers can now optimize hardware / software tradeoffs on the fly without board-level changes. In the SmartFusion device, all the data transferred from the processor to the FPGA or from the analog to the processor or between the FPGA and the analog is on-chip. In addition, Actel’s FlashLock technology provides a superior level of intellectual property (IP) security.
When faced with options for co-processing or interface customization, SmartFusion devices offer a compelling solution in a wide variety of applications, including motor control, system and power management and industrial automation. These applications span the industrial, military, medical, telecommunications, computing and storage markets.
“SmartFusion is the innovative, intelligent integration of the key components of a system,” said John East, Actel’s president and CEO. “Due to Actel’s flash technology, we now offer the industry’s first and only no-compromise, fully programmable platform for embedded design.”