Low-Power MAX II CPLDs

Since its introduction, Altera's MAX® II CPLD family has shown a strong commitment to low power applications. Continuing this commitment is the improved lower power MAX IIZ CPLD, which combines the industry's lowest dynamic power consumption with the industry's lowest standby power consumption. With the introduction of the zero-power MAX IIZ CPLD, Altera delivers the lowest static and dynamic power in the CPLD industry. Altera® CPLDs enable you to maximize functionality, while minimizing power consumption.

Low power needs are no longer limited to consumer products. MAX IIZ CPLDs support the same industry power leadership in the industrial temperature range of -40 to 100°C. MAX IIZ CPLDs make portable applications possible in the most demanding environments.

Low power applications are proliferating as demand increases for small, inexpensive products that support high levels of functionality with extended battery life. Table 1 shows some end markets with a need for low power.

Table 1. End Markets Requiring Low Power

Markets Applications
  • Educational toys
  • Portable media players
  • Smart phones
  • POS scanners
  • Industrial PDAs
  • Camera modules
  • Remote and wireless sensors
  • Portable diagnostics
  • Portable imaging
Test and Measurement
  • Multimeters
  • Portable diagnostics
Wireless and Wireline
  • Wireless network cards
  • Optical modules
  • Cellular handsets
  • Mobile GPS
  • Mobile infotainment systems
  • Electronic cars


Designed from the ground up to deliver low power, MAX IIZ CPLDs have many power saving system characteristics, including hot-socketing capability, power-sequence flexibility, and single power supply simplicity.

Standby (Static) Power Consumption

Table 2 shows the standby current consumption for the MAX IIZ CPLD family. As shown, MAX IIZ CPLDs provide ultra-low standby power consumption, making them ideal for portable applications design where battery life must be maximized.

Table 2. MAX IIZ CPLD DC Characteristics


VCCINT Standby Current

VCCIO Standby Current

Typical (1)

Commercial (2)

Industrial (3)

Typical (1)

Maximum (2),(3)


25 µA

90 µA

139 µA

2 µA

10 µA


27 µA

96 µA

152 µA

4 µA

10 µA


  1. At 25°C, VCCINT = VCCIO = VIPIN = 1.8 V
  2. At 85°C, VCCINT = VCCIO = VIPIN = 1.8 V
  3. At 100°C, VCCINT = VCCIO = VIPIN = 1.8 V

Dynamic Power Consumption

Unlike traditional macrocell-based CPLD architectures, MAX IIZ low-power CPLDs do not use sense amps that require bias currents to amplify signal voltages within the device. Additionally, with Quartus® II software, efficient implementation of most interconnects with local routing in MAX IIZ CPLDs significantly lowers dynamic power. Figure 1 graphs the typical power consumption (mWatts) versus frequency for the MAX IIZ EPM240Z devices. Similar graphs for all MAX II CPLD family members can be found in the Understanding & Evaluating Power in MAX II Devices (PDF) chapter of the MAX II Device Handbook.

Figure 1. Power Consumption Versus Frequency for MAX II EPM240Z Devices (1), (2)


  1. The typical operating conditions are at 25°C.
  2. Each device is fully utilized with 16-bit counters.

MAX IIZ CPLD Versus CoolRunner-II and ispMACH 4000ZE Power Consumption

Figure 2 shows the dynamic power consumption of the MAX IIZ CPLD compared to a CoolRunner-II traditional macrocell-based CPLD and ispMACH 4000ZE. As shown, the MAX IIZ CPLD provides significantly lower power consumption at every performance level.

Figure 2. MAX IIZ CPLD Versus CoolRunner-II and ispMACH 4000ZE, Dynamic Power Consumption (1)


  1. Worst case commercial power consumption is at 85°C