Industry's first development tool for 20 nm FPGAs and SoCs

3rd December 2013
Nat Bowers

Altera introduce the industry's first development tool support for 20 nm FPGAs and SoCs, the Quartus II software Arria 10 edition. Offering the fastest compile times in the industry, the familiar and proven Quartus II design environment can be used by customers to start developing Arria 10 FPGA and SoC-based systems.

Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs are based on TSMC 20 nm process technology. Providing 15% higher performance over current high-end FPGAs and up to 40% lower power consumption than previous midrange devices, they effectively reinvent the midrange FPGA and SoC category.

the Quartus II software Arria 10 edition enables customers to start designing the device’s advanced features into next-generation systems. Enabling users to design, simulate and compile Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs, the software release includes advanced timing models and final pin outs to enable board layout. It supports multiple FPGA and SoC devices, including the largest density midrange Arria 10 device, featuring up to 1.15 million logic elements.

Premal Buch, vice president of software engineering at Altera, commented: “For the past six months early access customers have successfully used Quartus II software to design Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs, and today we are pleased to make this software support available to all users who want the quickest path to 20 nm devices. Quartus II software uses leading-edge algorithms that take advantage of modern multi-core computing technologies. Architecting our software this way enables us to extend Quartus II software support to Altera’s next-generation product families and continue to deliver the industry’s fastest compile times.”

Offering twice as much system integration than competitive midrange devices, the Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs feature up to 1.15 million logic elements. These are variable-precision digital signal processing blocks with more than 3300 18x19 multipliers and integrated hard IP and the option of an integrated processor system that features a 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. Including 28-Gbps transceivers, the Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs provide four times the bandwidth of the current generation. They also feature a tripled system performance, with support for PCIeGen3 x8, 2666 Mbps DDR4 and up to 15-Gbps Hybrid Memory Cube.

Optimised for systems that require high-performance features while being constrained by strict cost and power budgets, the midrange FPGAs and SoCs include features tailored to address the requirements of a variety of end markets, including communications, broadcast, and compute and storage. Integrating the control plane processor, network processor, switches, and IO expansion into a single FPGA, the Arria 10 devices are also a high-performance cost-optimised single-chip solution for mobile backhaul applications in the wireless communications market.

For developers of broadcast and studio equipment, the Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs provide the most power-, space-, and cost-efficient solution for integrating video and image processing including 4K, 3D, and codecs. With their high-performance features and low power consumption, the Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs are perfectly suited to target next-generation storage systems which are required to access more data in shorter amounts of time, with minimal power consumption.

Available as a subscription edition with a free 30-day trial, the Quartus II software Arria 10 Edition is available now for download. The annual software subscription is $2,995 for a node-locked PC license.

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