New ASIC line replaces FPGAs, CPLDs in image generators

Engineers at Salt Lake City-based Evans & Sutherland rely on new electronic components driven by the boom in consumer electronics. The downside of this, however, is parts obsolescence. The parts they need often are no longer available through the typical life cycle of the company`s image-generation systems.

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Engineers at Salt Lake City-based Evans & Sutherland rely on new electronic components driven by the boom in consumer electronics. The downside of this, however, is parts obsolescence. The parts they need often are no longer available through the typical life cycle of the company`s image-generation systems.

"When this happens, we must either redesign our existing printed circuit assemblies or try to find `drop-in` replacements for the parts," notes Harrison Cooper, senior hardware design engineer at the company. His solution was to turn to Integrated Logic Systems Inc. of Colorado Springs, Colo., for two critical applications -specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that could be developed in minimal time and without non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs.

Evans & Sutherland designers were able to cash in on a new family formally introduced by Integrated Logic last month, the MPGA 3v3 line of ASICs, which provide a low-cost replacement for field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs).

What makes the MPGA line different is that it consists of 3.3 volt- and 5-volt metal programmed gate array (MPGA) devices manufactured with the 0.5 micron complementary metal oxide silicon triple metal process to serve as the ASIC equivalents of FPGAs and CPLDs with as many as 41,850 gates.

The net result is a reduction in turnaround time, which enabled Cooper`s team to release versions of its own parts in time to meet the Evans & Sutherland production schedule. "The MPGA 3v3 makes it possible to migrate FPGA and CPLD designs to true ASICs very quickly and painlessly," adds Tom Goodman, vice president of marketing and sales at Integrated Logic.

NRE for the Integrated Logic devices is free for standard designs with a minimum order of 4,000 pieces. The unit price is $4.50 for a 3v replacement of an equivalent 10,000-gate Xilinx, Lattice, Altera, or Actel device in a 100-lead package. — J.R.

For more information about the MPGA 3v3 line, contact Integrated Logic Systems Inc. by phone at 719-574-1688, by fax at 719-574-1993, by mail at 4750 Edison Ave., Colorado Springs, Colo. 80915, or on the World Wide Web at www.ilsi.com

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This new integrated circuit from Integrated Logic replaces FPGAs and CPLDs.

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