Actel Corp. said its low-power ProASIC3 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) family has achieved AEC-Q100, grade 2 and grade 1 qualification and can serve as an alternative to application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The firm said its grade 1 devices are among the first FPGAs to achieve that quality level.
Actel also announced support for the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), which ensures the availability of in-depth documentation for all parts used in the automotive supply chain.
With the AEC-Q100 grade 1 qualification, Actel said FPGA technology can move beyond in-cabin telematics and infotainment applications into system-critical applications such as powertrain, engine control modules and safety systems, the latter including back-up cameras and side-looking 'blind-spot' safety systems with limited ventilation.
"It's one thing to ensure that a device can operate in a car navigation or entertainment system, but to deliver an FPGA for system-critical applications with a zero defect goal is an entirely different animal," said Martin Mason, director of silicon product marketing for Actel. "Until now, automotive manufacturers have engaged in the costly and complex design of application-specific devices because it was the only way to get the low power, reliability and endurance needed for the most demanding automotive systems."
Actel said Delphi Corp. will use an Actel ProASIC3 FPGA in a production engine control module being designed into a heavy-duty diesel engine, and Magna Electronics has selected the Actel ProASIC3 FPGA for its automotive vision systems.
"Low-power FPGAs required for high-temperature automotive applications are now critical for next-generation automotive electronics applications," said Mike Williams, research vice president at Gartner. "An FPGA achieving an AECQ-100 grade 1 qualification will enable automotive manufacturers to leverage FPGA technology in system-critical and space-constrained automotive applications."
Actel is certifying its design, development and manufacturing operations to the TS 16949 worldwide automotive quality management system specification.