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Actel and ARM Sign Landmark Agreement To Bring ARM7 Processor Family To Burgeoning FPGA Market

07 March 2005

Unique business model extends ARM7 family processor to the mainstream FPGA designer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., AND CAMBRIDGE, UK – Mar. 7, 2005 — Representing the first time an ARM® processor has been licensed to a programmable logic vendor for implementation as a “soft” IP core, Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) and ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)], today announced at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), San Francisco, that the two companies have collaborated to provide a 32-bit ARM7 ™ Thumb® family microprocessor to Actel’s broad FPGA customer base.

With the establishment of this partnership, Actel will take the unique step of delivering to developers a soft ARM7 family implementation for use in several of Actel’s FPGA families.  Targeting the fastest growing market for design-ins, this move will create the first soft core FPGA version of the ARM7 family microprocessor that can be leveraged across applications ranging from high-volume consumer applications to high-performance, high-reliability products.  As a consequence, programmable logic users will be able to access ASIC-like design flexibility, with broad third- party support and trusted IP, as well as the added programmability and security benefits of Actel FPGAs.

“For the first time, ARM can provide FPGA designers the flexibility of a soft IP core thanks to the built-in security of Actel’s flash- and antifuse-based FPGAs,” said Mike Inglis, EVP Marketing, ARM.  “With this unique collaboration, the ARM7 family can now be designed into FPGA-based consumer products; FPGA development platforms for ASICs and prototyping; and especially for applications where low volumes have previously precluded the use of ARM processors.”

“For nearly two decades, we have been saying that in the long run customers always get what they want, and this agreement is a perfect example,” said John East, president and CEO of Actel.  “ARM is the leading provider of 32-bit embedded processor technology, and FPGA users have, for a long time, asked for access to this industry-standard architecture in a soft-IP format.  Through this historic partnership with ARM, we will extend the reach of the ARM architecture to include markets that could not previously afford individual access.  We are bringing an FPGA-optimized ARM7 family core to the masses.”

As part of the agreement, Actel will develop a family of ARM technology-enabled FPGA products.  The initial devices will be introduced in 2005.  The soft core ARM7 family processor will be delivered to customers using the unique security features available only in Actel FPGA devices.  Developers will be able to take advantage of the end-to-end integrated solution provided by the Actel Libero and ARM RealView® tools, enabling them to rapidly develop products, which maximize functionality and achieve optimal design performance.

About Actel
Actel Corporation is a supplier of innovative programmable logic solutions, including field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) based on antifuse and flash technologies, high-performance intellectual property (IP) cores, software development tools and design services, targeted for the high-speed communications, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) replacement and radiation-tolerant markets.  Founded in 1985, Actel employs more than 500 people worldwide.  The Company is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, CA, 94043-4655.  Telephone:  888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).  Internet:  http://www.actel.com.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices.  ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, 3D processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products.  Combined with the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.  More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.

ENDS

The Actel name and logo are trademarks of Actel Corporation.  ARM,Thumb and RealView are registered trademarks of ARM Limited.  ARM7 is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.  “ARM”' is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; AXYS Design Automation Inc.; AXYS GmbH; ARM Embedded Solutions Pvt. Ltd.; and ARM Physical IP, Inc.

Contact details

Actel ContactActel Media Contact
Clive Jones
Actel Corporation
650-318-4523
clive.jones@actel.com    
Starlayne Meza
Porter Novelli
408-369-1500 x629
starlayne.meza@porternovelli.com
 
ARM ContactARM Media Contact
Michelle Spencer
ARM
+1 44 1628 427780
michelle.spencer@arm.com   
Lauren Sarno
Text 100
415 593 8425
laurens@text100.com