ACTEL was founded in 1985 and is located in New York, USA. Before, ACTEL had been working in the US military and aviation fields and was prohibited from selling. Some domestic enterprises in special fields use other ways to purchase military-grade models. ACTEL began to gradually shift to civilian and commercial use. In addition to the anti-fuse series, it also launched the re-erasable ProASIC3 series (for the automotive, industrial control, and military aviation industries). The following is the uniqueness of ACTEL compared with other companies' FPGAs (ALTERA, Xilinx, lattice).
1. The essential structure is different
ACTEL is based on the flash structure. ALTERA, XILINX (Xilinx) and Lattice all use the SRAM structure. The data is lost when power-off, so a configuration chip is required, while ACTEL does not require configuration.
2. Security-cannot be cracked
ACTELFPGA has two security functions: one is 128-bit Flashlock encryption, and the other is 128-bit AES encryption (all freely set in the software), which truly protects your intellectual property rights. The Flashlock key is to protect the chip and prevent others from verifying, programming, and erasing. Only the correct 128-bit Flashlock key can erase and rewrite the chip. The 64th power of 2 is already very big, and the 128th power of 2 is even bigger. Even with luck, the Flashlock password is cracked, but the program code is encrypted with 128-bit AES. It would take 10 billion years to use the fastest computer in the world. Therefore, ACTEL's code can basically be transmitted online, even if it is intercepted, it is useless. Some people may say that reverse engineering is used to obtain the switch state by grinding the chip. However, ACTEL's transistors are all under the 7-layer copper. If the first 7 layers of metal are removed without destroying the wiring structure and internal transistors, this is basically impossible. This is also the reason why ACTEL is all used in the military and aviation.
3. Power on and run
Another advantage of ACTEL compared to FPGAs from other companies is that it runs when powered on. This feature is helpful for the initialization of system components and the processor to wake up the execution of emergency tasks. It takes 0.2 seconds for the FPGA of ALTERA and XILINX to power on to normal operation. This is also the reason why ACTEL is widely used in aviation or military fields. For example: In the non-stop toll collection system, the ACTEL is powered on and runs. The speed of the car on the highway is very fast, and in the far away from the toll system, the FPGA is in a power-off state. When it is close to the toll area, the FPGA starts to work, so the design must meet the FPGA to work when power is on, SRAM type The power-on configuration of the FPGA is 200MS, which is a bit wrong. It may lead to the result: When the FPGA starts to work, the car has already driven out of the radio frequency zone, and the data sent by the car cannot be received by the master station.
4. A true single-chip solution
ACTEL is a flash architecture FPGA, while ALTERA and XILINX are SRAM architectures, and data is lost when power-off, so an external configuration chip is generally required. Since ACTEL is an FPGA with flash architecture, there is no need to configure the chip, and the power consumption is lower. ACTEL's FUSION series has internal analog functions, internal current monitoring, voltage monitoring, 12-bit AD, RTC wake-up and so on. The IGOOL series is tailor-made for handheld devices, with a static power consumption of 5 microwatts, the smallest The package is only 4mm*4mm, which is more than 500 times less than the industry's lowest power consumption CPLD.
5. Impeccable stability
ACTEL has firmware immunity, that is, any high-energy neutrons and alpha-particles hitting devices have no effect at all, but SRAM-type FPGAs cannot withstand the impact of high-energy particles and cannot be suitable for harsh environments. In the "Chang'e 1" project undertaken by the Shanghai Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the ACTEL series anti-fuse series chips are used. This is also ACTEL's advantage in the military and automotive industries.
6. Complete and free development platform
The software is completely free, and it integrates the industry's best synthesis tool synplify, the best simulation tool MODESIM, etc., without any charge.
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