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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Actel Drives Industry's Lowest Power FPGAs Into Portable Displays

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via PRNewswire

MOUNTAIN VIEW , Calif., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With a continued focus on delivering low-power solutions for emerging and high-growth portable applications, Actel Corporation today announced the availability of flexible solutions for liquid crystal display (LCD) control applications. The new IGLOO Video Demo Board, LCD adaptor boards with LCD panels, the IGLOO Video Demo Kit(IVDK) and display-related reference blocks leverage the company's industry-leading 5 microwatt Actel IGLOO field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Thecompany expects these offerings will be attractive to the power-sensitivedesigners of portable and handheld consumer, industrial, medical, automotiveand military devices that utilize small-to-medium LCD displays.

The portable market has seen a surge in LCD usage due to the increasing popularity of personal media players, MP3 devices, PDAs, and digital cameras. According to market analyst firm iSuppli, the small-to-medium display (sub-10inches) is the fastest growing segment of the market. iSuppli predicts totalunit shipments of small-to-medium panels to be 3.8 billion in 2007 and4.5 billion in 2011.

"As we address LCD display control within portable applications, a low-power, reprogrammable solution is required to adapt to evolving standardsand technologies and deliver the desired power consumption, footprint, andtime to market. Offering 200x less static power and more than 10x the batterylife than competitive programmable logic offerings, IGLOO dominates when power matters," said Fares Mubarak, senior vice president of Actel Corporation.

In portable devices, LCDs can consume up to 50 percent of the application's power budget, escalating the need for a power-efficient solution.Within 1 microsecond, IGLOO devices easily enter and exit Flash*Freeze mode where IGLOO consumes as little as 5 microwatts while retaining the contents ofthe system memory and data registers. As a result, the flash-based IGLOO FPGAcan enable both the LCD panel and the controller to function in a power-saving mode and the LCD data and backlight to be disabled, representing significant battery savings for LCD applications.

Unlike the ASSP display controllers they can displace, Actel's low-powerIGLOO devices can be quickly reprogrammed to adapt and support a variety ofLCD displays and changing display technologies, therefore enabling the easymigration between panels as necessary. Further, these feature-rich FPGAs canabsorb additional glue logic and more complex LCD controls into a single chip,thereby reducing board area.

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