- About Megafunctions
- Altera Megafunction Partners Program
- Altera MegaCore Functions
- Megafunction Design Flow
- Available Altera Megafunctions
Now that 1,500,000-gate programmable logic devices (PLDs) are available, entire digital subsystems can be implemented on a single PLD. These devices create opportunities for designers to develop systems with greater integration, complexity, and functionality. Altera offers a total solution to design needs by combining megafunctions that are optimized for performance and density with state-of-the-art development tools that optimally map designs.
Megafunctions are ready-made, parameterized, pre-tested blocks of intellectual property that are optimized to make efficient use of the architecture of the targeted programmable device. By using megafunctions, designers can focus more time and energy on improving and differentiating their system-level product, rather than redesigning common functions. Megafunctions are supported in any CPLD design methodology, including existing hardware description language (HDL) design. When implementing complex system architectures, using megafunctions dramatically shortens design time by allowing the reuse of existing intellectual property. Megafunctions provide total solutions by targeting specific application areas and providing optimized performance, significantly increasing design productivity and reducing time-to-market.
Altera addresses this need with three types of megafunction:
- Megafunctions from the Altera Megafunction Partners Program (AMPPSM)
- Megafunctions created by Altera, known as MegaCore™ functions
- Altera megafunction reference designs
The AMPP alliance between Altera and developers of intellectual property brings to users of Altera PLDs a wide range of synthesizable megafunctions that are optimized for Altera devices. A full listing of AMPP partners can be found on this web site. To obtain AMPP megafunctions, contact the vendor directly.
Altera® MegaCore functions are developed and pre-tested by Altera and are optimized for specific Altera device architectures, allowing user-specified performance utilization goals to be met. These functions are licensed by Altera as MAX+PLUS® II migration products. MegaCore functions can be downloaded from this web site.
Altera also provides free reference designs to help designers start the implementation process. Reference designs may include source code that can be easily modified to fit a designer's specific requirements. Reference designs for a variety of megafunctions are available.
Altera MegaWizard™ Plug-Ins allow designers to customize associated megafunctions with minimal effort and then integrate them into any design flow with any EDA tool. Both Altera and its AMPP partners offer parameterized functions that users control by linking MegaWizard Plug-Ins to their functions.
Using megafunctions powered by a MegaWizard Plug-In saves designers time and money because customization is handled efficiently within the design environment.
It is easy to evaluate megafunctions before purchasing them by using the OpenCore® feature available with the Altera MAX+PLUS II software. OpenCore evaluation allows designers to instantiate, compile, and simulate a function to verify its size and performance before deciding to license it.
Having a project flow smoothly is critical for design success. The development process for megafunctions, shown in the figure below, helps guarantee success.
Megafunction Design Flow