May 12, 2008 -- Actel Corp. today announced two plug-in daughter cards developed to manage human machine interface (HMI) and miniature motor control functionality. The new HMI Daughter Card and the Motor Control Daughter Card are offered as plug-ins to Actel's popular Igloo Icicle Kit. Combined with the company's previously announced Igloo-based storage and display-related development boards, design examples and intellectual property (IP) cores, the company believes these new control-related solutions will increase market penetration for Actel's 5 µW Igloo FPGAs in the portable market.
"Over the past year, we have targeted our ultra low-power Igloo FPGAs at key functions, such as storage, display, and control, within portable designs," said Actel Vice President, Yankin Tanurhan. "A platform-based design approach, our HMI, and miniature motor control solutions enable designers to shave months off of their design time and easily meet the most stringent power budgets."
Co-developed with partners Ishnatek, a design services company, and Avnet Memec, a division of Avnet, the new HMI and miniature motor control solutions provide a platform-based design approach, enabling designers to quickly and easily address changing requirements, implement custom algorithms, and make design changes through device reprogramming.
The HMI Daughter Card demonstrates keypad control, brightness control for white LEDs, color mixing for red, green blue (RGB) LEDs and tone generation, which is beneficial for applications such as smart phones, portable gaming consoles and remote control devices. The Motor Control Daughter Card demonstrates brushless DC and stepper motor control and can support a variety of functions often found in portable medical, industrial and consumer applications, such as respirators, infusion and volumetric pumps, smart phones and security cameras.
The µW Igloo FPGAs can absorb additional glue logic and multiple functions — from storage and display to control — into a single chip, thereby reducing bill of materials, board area, power consumption and cost. And, with Igloo's power-saving Flash*Freeze function, one of several power modes the Igloo family offers to optimize power consumption, designers can tap the lowest power solution for HMI and miniature motor control applications-up to 1700 times lower than competing programmable solutions.
According to Marc Gsand, Vice President, Technical Marketing at Avnet Electronics, "These daughter cards, which leverage Actel's Igloo FPGAs, provide a complete reference for power-sensitive and portable applications, going beyond just a piece of silicon. Customers further benefit from the knowledge that the complimentary devices on the daughter cards, which are available from the Avnet Memec line card, have been proven to work together."
The Icicle Kit showcases the ultra low-power attributes, flexible implementation options and battery-saving advantages of Igloo FPGAs for portable applications. The $99 kit lets designers easily and rapidly program, evaluate and modify their low-power Igloo-based portable designs. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the 1.4x3.6-inc Icicle evaluation board consumes less than one-seventh the power of competitive FPGA development solutions in a design the size of a small cell phone.
Pricing and Availability
Available now, the $99 Icicle Kit can be purchased directly from Actel. The HMI and motor control daughter cards can be purchased from Avnet's Design Resource Center at em.avnet.com/actelIgloohmicard and em.avnet.com/actelIgloomotorcard, respectively. Pricing for the daughter cards is $139 and $229 for the HMI and motor control solutions, respectively. The RTL design files, packaged as design examples, will also be available for free download from Actel's website.
Go to the Actel Corp. website to find additional information.