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Cost-Reduction Path with Field Programmable Analog Arrays

Anadigm, launched a new program that will provide customers using its field programmable analog arrays (FPAAs) in high-volume applications with a cost reduction path yielding savings up to 60% over the life of a given design.

Under the new Anadigm FreezeFrame program, customers who are using FPAAs in production designs can arrange with Anadigm to obtain a lower-cost, structured ASIC that serves as a drop-in replacement for the FPAA device. By removing programming and configuration resources that are not needed for their specific application, Anadigm is able to provide customers with a reduced die area device that is more cost effective. Because the basic building blocks and process technology are identical, the performance of the FreezeFrame device is guaranteed to match that of the original configured FPAA.

'Our FreezeFrame program gives embedded system designers a new perspective on how programmable analog can fit into high-volume designs where eventual cost reductions must be planned for,' said Nathan John, vice president of worldwide marketing at Anadigm. 'By creating FreezeFrame, we're responding to this need for a number of existing customers who are in a position to take advantage of the program, as well as addressing high-volume opportunities for FPAAs in general.'

Because Anadigm guarantees that its FreezeFrame devices will be compatible with the original FPAAs on which they are based, customers can confidently move to production with an FPAA and bring products to market faster, knowing that the opportunity to migrate to a FreezeFrame solution is ready whenever they are. Customers can allow time for a design to stabilize prior to committing to a custom solution and thus minimize their risks.

FPAAs, the analog equivalent of FPGAs, greatly reduce the time, effort, and expense required to create and implement analog interfaces in audio, telecommunications, and industrial applications. By abstracting analog functions to software that can be controlled, modified, and reconfigured in real time, FPAAs bring the analog segment of an embedded system into the same software-controlled world as the microcontroller/microprocessor while maintaining a front-to-back analog signal path.

The EDA software provided by Anadigm, AnadigmDesigner2, makes programming the devices a simple drag-and-drop process in which circuits are constructed using software Configurable Analog Modules (CAMs) for which the user sets the parameters.

To participate in the Anadigm FreezeFrame program, customers who have achieved stable production designs with an FPAA will simply provide Anadigm with the AnadigmDesigner2 file that was used to configure the device. Anadigm will use the file to create a FreezeFrame equivalent and deliver working prototypes back to the customer for evaluation. Once the FreezeFrame device has been approved by the customer, production quantities can be available in four weeks.

The first FPAA devices for which Anadigm will offer FreezeFrame equivalents are the AN120E04 and AN121E04. NRE charges for developing a FreezeFrame device will be calculated based on the specific requirements of the customer's program.

A multimedia demonstration of the AnadigmDesigner2 EDA tool can be viewed at the Anadigm Web site at www.anadigm.com. A complete evaluation kit with a development board, entry-level software, and updated documentation is now available for $199.

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