Altera Demonstrates 90-nm Leadership by Shipping World's Highest-Density, Highest-Performance FPGA

San Jose, Calif., January 20, 2005—Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) today announced the availability of the complete Stratix® II FPGA family with the shipment of the EP2S180 device. As the largest member of the Stratix II FPGA family with 82 percent more logic elements (LEs) than any available competing FPGA, this establishes Altera as the FPGA industry’s density, performance, and 90-nm leader. Using a third-party-endorsed benchmarking methodology, Altera has shown the Stratix II FPGA family to be 39 percent faster on average when compared to Xilinx’s Virtex-4 family, making the Stratix II family the industry’s fastest FPGAs. The Stratix II FPGAs offer densities ranging from 15,600 to 179,400 equivalent LEs. The family features the industry’s first adaptable FPGA architecture, made up of adaptive logic modules (ALMs), which allow designers to optimize performance and minimize costs. As an example of the capabilities of the EP2S180 FPGA, using just one-third of the device, designers can implement 10 Nios® II/f embedded processors, each running at 225 DMIPs with a 64-Kbyte on-chip memory, a 4-kbyte instruction cache, and a 2-Kbyte data cache, and still have two-thirds of the FPGA available for other functions.

Partnering With the Leader

Partnering with worldwide foundry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)—the world's largest wafer manufacturer with approximately 50 percent market share—is the key to Altera’s ability to deliver high-density Stratix II FPGAs on schedule and in volume. Stratix II FPGAs are manufactured on 300-mm wafers using TSMC's 90-nm, low-k dielectric process technology and leverage the foundry’s in-house high-performance libraries. “Altera’s successful rollout of the 90-nm Stratix II FPGA family is a flagship example of a successful collaboration between product design and foundry services in advanced semiconductor manufacturing,” said Edward Wan, TSMC’s senior director of design services. “It’s also a testament to the importance of using process-proven elements, such as TSMC’s comprehensive in-house 90-nm libraries, to ensure right-the-first-time silicon for faster tape-outs and product ramps.” Altera made extensive use of TSMC’s in-house libraries to take advantage of features such as multi-Vt (voltage threshold) architecture, which allows selective placement of low-power or high-performance elements for optimum chip performance. “Altera has once again exceeded customer expectations with the flawless and early availability of the Stratix II FPGA family. Continuing Altera’s track record of operational excellence, the EP2S180 device shipped one month ahead of schedule and delivers industry-leading density and performance,” said David Greenfield, Altera’s senior director of marketing for high-density FPGAs. “In addition to performance and density, the path to high-volume production using HardCopy® devices provides another compelling benefit made possible by the Stratix II architecture.”


All Stratix II devices are now available and supported by Quartus® II development software version 4.0, released in February 2004. For more information about Stratix II devices, please visit

About Altera

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) is the world’s pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. More information is available at