The ability to choose the exact system (processor performance, peripheral mix, and system configuration) for your application is a unique advantage of our portfolio of embedded soft processors, including the Nios® II processor (refer to Figure 1). The development platform allows you to release a product quickly and feature-fill over time to meet emerging standards and changing customer requirements.
- Optimized family of CPUs
- Customizable peripheral set
- Adapt to changing requirements
- Flexible development suite
- Infield upgradeability
Figure 1. Configurable Nios II Processor
If you're using the Nios II processor, choose from three available cores:
- One for maximum system performance
- One optimized for minimum logic usage
- One that strikes a balance between maximum system performance and minimum logic usage
The easy-to-use GUI allows you to configure caches, select debug options, and integrate custom instructions. Learn more about Nios II processor cores.
Other soft processors in our embedded portfolio include:
- The ARM® Cortex-M1 processor, a three-stage 32-bit ARM Cortex processor
- The Freescale V1 ColdFire processor, which has a fully synthesizable core and variable-length RISC 16-bit, 32-bit, and 48-bit instructions
- The Intel® Atom® E6x5C processor, which combines the Intel Atom processor E6xx with an Altera® FPGA on a multichip package
FPGAs with integrated hard processor systems:
Use the Qsys system integration tool, available in later versions of Quartus® II design software, to choose from a menu of peripherals, communication interfaces, memory, and I/O to suit your application needs. This tool is tightly integrated with the Nios II Embedded Design Suite and automatically generates a complete custom board support package, including all required software drivers. Learn more about available peripherals and drivers.
Add hardware features at any time in the product life cycle without redesigning your board. Boost performance and add features, even late in the development stage, that help you adapt to changing requirements and reduce development time, insulating your product from the competition.
Boost your software performance as requirements increase using hardware accelerators, custom instructions, and multiprocessors. You get all the tools you need to profile code to identify bottlenecks, accelerate software performance, effectively debug, and reuse drivers. Learn more about performance benefits.
Enhance your embedded development experience by using the tools the way you like, be it GUI-based or command-line driven. Choose from Altera or a host of embedded software partners for debuggers, compilers, operating systems, and middleware that support our embedded processors. We've formed the Altera Embedded Alliance with leading third-party embedded vendors, providing you with easy access to the design resources you'll need.
Deploy bug fixes, feature enhancements, and service upgrades for systems in the field, on site or remotely, by downloading a new firmware image on the target system.
- Reduce your system costs
- Protect your software investment from processor obsolescence
- Improve your productivity
- Scale system performance to meet your needs