Altera's Cyclone® FPGA family provides the benefits of programmable logic at price points competitive with ASICs and ASSPs. Cyclone FPGAs are built from the ground up on a cost-optimized all-layer-copper 1.5-V SRAM process and based on extensive input from hundreds of customers. These low-cost devices provide high-volume application-focused features such as embedded memory, external memory interfaces, and clock management circuitry.

Designers needing lower costs, more density, and functionality for high-volume applications can take advantage of more advanced device families in this series. These newer Cyclone families strengthen Altera's leadership position in solutions for high-volume, low-cost applications.

Cyclone Architecture

Table 1. Cyclone Family Features at a Glance
Feature Description
Cost-Optimized Architecture Cyclone FPGAs offer up to 20,060 logic elements (LEs). The logic resources in Cyclone devices can be used to implement complex applications.
Embedded Memory Cyclone devices offer up to 288 Kbits of RAM through M4K memory blocks that can be configured to support a wide range of operation modes including RAM, ROM, first-in first-out (FIFO) buffers, and single-port and dual-port modes.
External Memory Interfaces Cyclone devices provide advanced external memory interfaces that allow you to integrate external SDR SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, and DDR FCRAM devices into complex system designs without degrading data access performance.
LVDS I/O Support Cyclone devices offer up to 129 LVDS-compatible channels with data rates up to 640 Mbps per channel.
Single-Ended I/O Support Cyclone devices support a variety of single-ended I/O interface standards, such as the 3.3-V, 2.5-V, 1.8-V, LVTTL, LVCMOS, SSTL, and PCI standards needed for today's systems.
Clock Management Circuitry Cyclone devices feature up to two programmable phase-locked loops (PLLs) and eight global clock lines that provide robust clock management and frequency synthesis capabilities for maximum system performance. Cyclone PLLs offer advanced features such as programmable phase shift, programmable delays, and external clock output. These features allow you to manage internal and external system timing.
Interfaces and Protocols Cyclone devices support serial, bus, and network interfaces such as PCI, access to fast external memory devices, and a wide range of communications protocols including Ethernet protocols.
Hot-Socketing and
Cyclone devices offer robust on-chip hot-socketing and power-sequencing support that ensures proper device operation independent of the power-up sequence. This feature also protects the device and tri-states I/O buffers before and during power-up, making Cyclone devices ideal for multi-voltage systems as well as applications that require high availability and redundancy.
DSP Implementation Cyclone devices provide an ideal platform for implementing low-cost digital signal processing (DSP) systems on an FPGA.
Automatic Cyclic Redundancy Code Checking Cyclone devices feature automatic 32-bit cyclic redundancy check (CRC). A single click in Quartus® II development software simplifies setup and activates the device's built-in cyclic redundancy code checker. It is the most cost-effective FPGA solution available for single event upset (SEU).
Serial Configuration Devices Cyclone devices can be configured with low-cost Altera® serial configuration devices.
Nios II Family of Embedded Processors The Nios® II family of embedded processors for Cyclone FPGAs reduces cost, increases flexibility, and offers an ideal replacement for low-cost discrete microprocessors.
Industrial Temperature Support Select Cyclone devices are offered in the industrial temperature range, -40°C to +100°C (junction), to support various industrial applications.
Automotive-Grade Devices Select Cyclone devices are offered in automotive-grade versions, supporting the automotive temperature range, -40°C to +125°C (junction).
Extended Temperature Support Select Cyclone devices are qualified to an extended temperature range, -40°C to +125°C (junction). These devices are ideal for in-cabin automotive applications that require extended temperature ranges and high-quality products.

Table 1 outlines the Cyclone FPGA family members, features, and availability. Table 2 shows an overview of Cyclone device packaging and I/O pin counts. Table 3 shows the appropriate configuration devices to use for Cyclone FPGAs. Table 4 shows industrial temperature support for Cyclone FPGAs.

Table 1. Cyclone FPGA Family Overview

Feature EP1C3 EP1C4 EP1C6 EP1C12 EP1C20
M4K RAM Blocks (4 Kbits + Parity)1317205264
Embedded Memory (Kbits)597790234288
Maximum User I/O Pins104301185249301
Differential Channels3412972103129
AvailabilityBuy NowBuy NowBuy NowBuy NowBuy Now
Industrial and Automotive TemperatureYes (1)YesYesYesYes


  1. The EP1C3 device is also available in automotive-grade versions, which support an automotive temperature range of -40°C to +125°C.

Table 2. Cyclone FPGA Device Package and Maximum User I/O Pins

Package Size (mm x mm) EP1C3 EP1C4 EP1C6 EP1C12 EP1C20
100-Pin TQFP (1)
(16 x 16)
144-Pin TQFP
(22 x 22)
104 98
240-Pin PQFP (2)
(32 x 32)
256-Pin FineLine BGA (3)
(17 x 17)
324-Pin FineLine BGA
(19 x 19)
249 249233
400-Pin FineLine BGA
(21 x 21)
301 301


1. TQFP = thin quad flat pack
2. PQFP = plastic quad flat pack
3. BGA = ball-grid array

Table 3. Appropriate Configuration Devices for Cyclone FPGAs

Configuration Device Number of Devices
EP1C3 EP1C4 EP1C6 EP1C12 EP1C20
EPC2 11122

Table 4. Cyclone Device Industrial Temperature Support

Device Package Speed Grade
EP1C3100-pin TQFP
144-pin TQFP
EP1C4324-pin FBGA
400-pin FBGA
EP1C6144-pin TQFP
240-pin PQFP
256-pin FBGA
EP1C12240-pin PQFP
256-pin FBGA
324-pin FBGA
EP1C20324-pin FBGA
400-pin FBGA