PCI System Cost Cutter

Altera has available 32bit, 33MHz PCI IP coresn that support its MAX II device family. Altera believe that customers can save as much as 50% by implementing PCI-based control path applications in MAX II devices, compared to the cost of fixed-function PCI ASSPs, which contain functionality unnecessary for control path applications.

The MAX II CPLD family employs an easy LUT logic structure that enables higher-density designs at less than half the cost of the previous-generation MAX CPLD family. Due to the higher densities offered in the MAX II architecture, the EPM1270 and EPM2210 devices have capacity to support the implementation of PCI-based control path logic. For example, a 32bit, 33-MHz PCI target function can be implemented in approximately 40% of the EPM1270 – the smaller of these two devices – leaving more than half of the device available for the integration of additional logic.

'We have been using CPLDs and FPGAs for several years across a wide variety of applications, and the new low-cost, high-density MAX II devices, combined with Altera's PCI cores, allow us to expand the CPLD application space,' said Mike Hermann, vice president of engineering operations at Nuvation. 'We will be able to use this powerful combination for complex interface bridging functions, which would have previously required the use of an ASSP.'

PCI, originally an interface standard for PC add-on cards, is today used in PC and non-PC interfacing and bridging applications, both between and within systems.

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