Altera Begins Shipping MAX II Devices, Industry's Lowest-Cost CPLDs

July 20, 2004

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR), the market leader in complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs), today announced it has begun shipping the first member of its MAX® II device family, the EPM1270 device. Based on Altera’s groundbreaking look-up table (LUT)-based CPLD architecture, the MAX II family is half the cost and consumes only one-tenth the power of previous MAX generations, while maintaining the same single-chip, non-volatile and ease-of-use characteristics of the original MAX series. In addition, the new family delivers four times the density and more than twice the performance of prior-generation MAX CPLDs. Engineers designing for high-volume, price-sensitive markets can leverage the MAX II device family’s cost and performance advantages to replace more expensive and less flexible low-density ASICs and ASSPs often used for critical system control functions.

“We have received our first MAX II devices and are integrating them into our AN-2000 IB IP DSLAM,” said Jerry Soloway, senior vice president of engineering at UTStarcom. “The low cost, high capacity and low power consumption of MAX II devices will enable us to increase the cost-effectiveness of our broadband data service delivery solutions.”

“We will be using the MAX II devices we received in our upcoming ExaMax MS Media Intelligent Network Platform, which for the first time, enables real-time, multi-user, collaborative HD video and 2k/4k digital film creation and editing within a heterogeneous network environment,” said John Ding, PhD, vice president and chief architect of Exavio. “The rich feature set and user-programmable flash memory in MAX II devices provides us with the tools to create a truly disruptive technology that will deliver new workflow and network infrastructure efficiencies to the digital media market.”

Since its introduction in March 2004, the MAX II device family has experienced strong interest from customers spanning the communications, computing, consumer, industrial and automotive markets. This high level of early market interest indicates that the MAX II family is well-positioned to extend Altera’s lead in the CPLD market. To read what other customers are saying about MAX II devices, please visit:

“Altera has led the CPLD market for 15 years because of our ability to deliver a low-cost product that meets our customers’ requirements, on time and in the required volumes,” said Erik Cleage, Altera’s senior vice president of marketing. “The MAX II family continues our leadership in this category as it gives customers the ability to use a low-cost CPLD in place of higher-cost, or higher-power, ASSPs and standard logic devices.”

Quartus II Software Support
MAX II devices are supported now by the Quartus® II design software, the industry’s most advanced design software. Now featuring a built-in MAX+PLUS® II software look-and-feel option, MAX+PLUS II software users can benefit from the Quartus II software’s features without having to learn a new graphical user interface. Customers can download Altera’s no-cost Quartus II Web Edition design software at

MAX II Low-Cost Development Kit
A low-cost development kit featuring the EPM1270 will be available for purchase from distributors early in the fourth quarter of 2004 for $150. The development kit includes a PCI form factor printed circuit board with a 32-bit edge connector, programming and USB cables, several demonstration designs, Quartus II Web Edition development software and complete documentation.

Availability, Packaging, and Pricing
The MAX II device family includes four members ranging in density from 240 to 2,210 logic elements (LEs). Low-cost packages are available for the MAX II devices, including 1.0‑mm FineLine BGA® and 0.5-mm thin quad flat pack. All family members will be available in full production by the first quarter of 2005.

About MAX II Devices
Altera’s MAX II devices are the industry’s lowest-cost CPLDs, targeted at general-purpose, low-density logic applications. Based on a groundbreaking implementation of a look-up table-based architecture for CPLDs, MAX II devices deliver half the cost, one-tenth the power, four times the density and twice the performance of previous MAX devices. Built on TSMC’s 0.18-micron flash-based process technology, the instant-on and non-volatile MAX II devices offer 240 to 2,210 LEs, up to 272 user I/O pins and innovative board-management features such as user flash memory.

For more information on Altera’s MAX II device family, visit

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