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Old 20 June 2008, 04:29   #125
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bath, UK
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by Madcrow View Post
Of course an Altera Hardcopy is just an FPGA for which the ability to flash in new functionality has been permanently removed, so while it IS cheaper than a nomal FPGA, it doesn't perform much better (or any better at all)
Hmm, you sure about that? Whilst I realise an Altera HardCopy is not a 'true' ASIC, it offers benefits in processing power, power consumption and (potential for lower) cost compared to FPGAs.

Let's compare the Stratix IV FPGA with the HardCopy IV structured ASIC...

From the improved performance link on the Hardcopy IV page above:

"HardCopy® ASIC system development methodology enables you to seamlessly prototype HardCopy IV ASICs using the high-performance Stratix® IV FPGAs at full system speed. HardCopy IV ASICs can provide up to twice the core logic performance over the FPGA prototype device.

The performance improvement is due to:

* Shorter routing using a much smaller die compared to the FPGA
* Fewer logic levels for certain combinatorial logic paths
* Flexibility in HCell macro placement

The performance advantage of HardCopy IV ASICs is further enhanced with the ASIC-strength of the Quartus® II design software. You use synopsys design constraint (SDC)-formatted timing constraints to precisely define and analyze your timing requirements—one SDC for the ASIC and one SDC for the prototyping FPGA. You can also use physical synthesis and incremental compile features to further improve design performance."

Know when to admit when you're wrong?
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