Altera has launched its high end Stratix III family of FPGAs, taking a slightly different route to competitor Xilinx. Xilinx first developed different families with different mixes of DSP and logic, and Altera is following suit with three new Stratix III family variants are offered: one delivering balanced logic, memory and DSP resources for general-purpose applications, a second providing enhanced memory and DSP resources for memory- and DSP-intensive applications and a third offering integrated transceivers for high-bandwidth interface applications. But Altera has also developed feature two new technologies that dramatically lower power while meeting high-performance requirements.
The Programmable Power Technology enables every programmable logic array block (LAB), DSP block and memory block to independently operate at high-speed or low-power mode. The PowerPlay feature in the Quartus II design software version 6.1 automatically analyses the design and identifies which blocks are in the critical path. u
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