Cyclone® III FPGA Starter Kit

By Intel® FPGAs 299

Cyclone® III FPGA Starter Kit

The economical Cyclone® III FPGA starter kit from Intel® is easy to use and an ideal introduction if you have never designed with FPGAs before. If you are an experienced FPGA designer checking out the Cyclone III architecture, you'll love building systems with the 60 percent (on average) faster performance and 50 percent lower power than the competition. Several design examples included in the kit make for a quick "out-of-the-box" evaluation experience.

The Cyclone III device family offered by Intel is a cost-optimized, memory-rich FPGA family. Cyclone III FPGAs are built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 65-nm low-power (LP) process technology with additional silicon optimizations and software features to minimize power consumption. With this third-generation in the Cyclone series, Intel broadens the number of high volume, cost-sensitive applications that can benefit from FPGAs.

Cyclone III devices offer low-power consumption and increased system integration at reduced cost.

Reduced Cost

Cyclone III device system costs are based on the following facts:
  • Staggered I/O ring minimizes die area
  • Wide range of low-cost packages
  • Support for low-cost serial flash and commodity parallel flash devices for configuration

Lowest-Power 65-nm FPGA

Cyclone III devices are the lowest-power 65-nm FPGAs designed using TSMC’s 65-nm LP process and Intel’s power aware design flow. Cyclone III devices support hot-socketing operation; therefore, unused I/O banks can be powered down when the devices to which they are connected are turned off. Benefits of the Cyclone III device's low-power operation include:
  • Extended battery life for portable and handheld applications
  • Enabled operation in thermally challenged environments
  • Eliminated or reduced cooling system costs

Kit Contents:

The Cyclone III FPGA starter development kit is RoHS compliant and features:
  • Cyclone III starter board
    • Cyclone III EP3C25F324 FPGA
    • Configuration
      • Embedded USB-Blaster™ circuitry (includes an Intel EPM3128A CPLD) allowing download of FPGA configuration files via the user's USB port
    • Power and analog devices from Linear Technology
      • Switching power supply LTM4603EV-1
      • Switching and step-down regulators LTC3413, LT1959 and LT1117
    • Memory
      • 256-Mbit of DDR SDRAM
      • 1-Mbyte of synchronous SRAM
      • 16-Mbytes of Intel P30/P33 flash
    • Clocking
      • Switches and indicators
      • Six push buttons total, four user controlled
      • Seven LEDs total, four user controlled
    • Connectors
      • HSMC
      • USB Type B
    • Cables and power
      • USB cable
      • External power supply (U.S. compatible plug with EU and UK adaptors)
    • Cyclone III FPGA starter kit CD-ROM
      • Example designs targeting the Cyclone III FPGA starter board
        • Create an FPGA design in one hour
        • Power measurements of a Cyclone III FPGA
        • A 32-bit soft processor system inside an FPGA
      • Complete documentation
        • User guide
        • Reference manual
        • Board schematic and layout
        • Bill of materials
        • Product and partner information
    • Download instructions to receive the latest version of the following software (at no charge):
      • Quartus® II Web Edition (FPGA design software)
      • ModelSim®-Intel Web Edition (FPGA simulation software from ModelSim)
      • Nios® II Embedded Design Suite, Evaluation Edition (32-bit microprocessor software)

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