CPU Chip interfaces with variety of FPGA devices.

Press Release Summary:

Based on embedded 190 MHz ARM(TM) core, FPGACompanion CPU chip comes with complete set of peripherals, from USB 2.0 and Ethernet I/Os to DRAM and flash memory controllers. All I/Os are connected together via AMBA 2.0 system bus, and intelligent Direct Memory Access engine enables I/O devices to be accessible to FPGA connecting to it. Additional features include 8-channel ADC, AES-DES Cipher coprocessor, and built-in AHB bus header for external FPGA connectivity.

Original Press Release:

Faraday Announces FPGACompanion ARM(TM) CPU Device

Optimized Bus and System Designs Enable Customers to Use Same ISA from FPGA Prototype to Full Volume Production

HSINCHU, Taiwan, and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 16 /-- Faraday Technology Corporation (TAIEX: 3035), a leading ASIC and silicon IP provider, today announced the FPGACompanion (FC) CPU chip, targeted at system companies who need a full-featured ARM(TM) CPU chip that can easily be interfaced to various FPGA devices. With an embedded ARM core and on-chip peripheral functions in the FC device, ASIC customers can use FC in system level SoC design verification together with customer logic implemented on FPGA devices. Faraday's FC has been sampled at several customer sites, with general availability starting immediately.

ARM(TM) is the most pervasive non-PC processor architecture for SoC implementations. However, lacking a device which can easily interface to FPGA, many SoC-based designs start with either x86(TM)-, PowerPC(TM)- or MIPS(TM)- based architectures, and eventually convert to ARM-based SoCs later, requiring considerable software porting efforts. A validation platform and initial sampling vehicle is needed by SoC designers to perform system level validation prior to SoC commitment. Faraday's FC is tailored to fulfill these specific needs. Customers can use FC to address fast time-to-market needs while at the same time mitigating system risks with the availability of an early development and production platform.

"Faraday has been in the ASIC business for many years. We understand and are able to address the needs of our SoC customers," said H.P. Lin, CEO of Faraday Technology Corporation. "I am very pleased that our engineers can use the existing Faraday technologies and expand our total solution to customers who desperately need platforms such as the FPGACompanion."

The FC addresses SoC development platform needs with its unique chip level architecture. First, the 190 MHz ARM(TM) v4 CPU chip comes with a complete set of peripherals, from USB 2.0 and Ethernet I/Os to DRAM and flash memory controllers. All these I/Os are connected together via the AMBA 2.0 system bus, and the intelligent Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine enables these I/O devices to be easily accessible to the FPGA connecting to it. Second, there is a high-performance AHB bus interface which allows SoC-based designs to connect the FC with FPGAs. To further accelerate customer's time to market, Faraday delivers the Linux 2.6.14-based reference design with software for all the I/Os for customers to modify or use as is.

"Today's service provider-based deployments really mean a three-stage rollout for our customers: prototype/field trials, small quantity deployments, followed by full-volume production," said Christopher Moezzi, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Faraday's Communication Business Unit. "With initiatives such as the FC, Faraday continues to focus on offering our valued customers with system-level solutions, helping to realize their ROI objectives faster."

About FPGACompanion (FC)
Faraday's FPGACompanion is a highly integrated silicon-proven device that integrates a 190 MHz ARM processor and peripherals, with a pre-integrated AHB bus header for direct connectivity to popular FPGA devices. The FC is architecturally compatible with Faraday's existing Peripheral Composer-1 (PC- 1) structured ASIC platform.

-- 190 MHz Faraday FA526 ARM(TM) v4 ISA CPU
-- ARM AMBA 2.0-based system architecture
-- 10/100 Ethernet MAC subsystem
-- 2x USB 2.0 OTG and USB 2.0 device controllers with integrated PHY
-- 8-channel 200 kSPS ADC
-- SDRAM Controller (SDMC)
-- Static Memory Controller (SMC)
-- AES-DES Cipher Coprocessor (AES)
-- Built-in AHB bridge and transaction header for external FPGA connectivity
-- 100 MHz (1/2 system clock) external 32-bit AHB header for direct connectivity to external FPGAs
-- 1 watt power dissipation at 190 MHz CPU operation
-- UMC 0.18 µm process
-- 484-pin PBGA 23 x 23 mm2 package
-- Complete H/W and S/W Evaluation Board (EVB) and documentation

Pricing & Availability
The FC device is immediately available, along with its Evaluation Board (EVB). The list price of the EVB is $6,000 USD, and comes with a complete software development kit, which includes Linux 2.6.14 distribution, Software Development Kit (SDK), and a simple ICE for debugging purpose.

For more information about Faraday's FPGACompaion, please visit its website at: www.faraday-tech.com/html/solutions/FC.html or contact Faraday at CBUsales@faraday-tech.com

About Faraday Technology Corporation
Faraday Technology Corporation is a leading silicon IP and fabless ASIC vendor. The company's broad IP portfolio includes cell libraries, memory compilers, 32-bit RISC CPUs, DSPs, MPEG-4, H.264, PHYs/Controllers for USB 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, Serial ATA, PCI Express, etc. With more than 700 employees and 2006 revenue of US$171 million, Faraday is one of the largest fabless ASIC companies in the Asia-Pacific region, and it also has significant presences worldwide. Headquartered in Taiwan, Faraday has service and support offices around the world, including the U.S., Japan, Europe, and China. For more information, please visit: www.faraday-tech.com

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