Actel Extends Core8051s Processor Support to Rtax, Axcelerator and IGLOO Families

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., — December 01, 2009 — Continuing to deliver solutions for embedded designers, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced that it has extended Core8051s support for its line of high-reliability Axcelerator®, radiation-tolerant RTAX and low-power IGLOO® FPGAs. By broadening Core8051s support, Actel enables designers developing high reliability, space-flight or portable embedded designs to take advantage of the strong ecosystem and deep code base that exists for 8051-based processors while simultaneously leveraging the flexibility advantages delivered by Actel FPGAs.

Core8051s is an ASM51-compatible 8-bit microcontroller core that runs programs written for the industry standard 8051. The external SFR interface normally present on 8051 microcontrollers is replaced in Core8051s by an advanced peripheral bus (APB) v3.0 interface. Designers can use Core8051 to instantiate the main 8051 core logic in Actel FPGA fabric, and via the APB v3.0 bus interface they can easily connect any APB IP peripherals. In addition, designers can now customize their design with only the peripheral functions (timers, UARTs, I/O ports) required for their application, optimizing area and freeing FPGA fabric for additional custom digital circuitry.

With the introduction of this 8-bit microprocessor, Actel expands the range of microprocessor options for designers in several different application areas. For designers of low-power systems, the 8051s offers a low-cost, low-power complement to the ARM® Cortex™-M1 32-bit microprocessor. For designers of space-flight systems and other high-reliability applications, the 8051s adds a small footprint complement to the successful and popular LEON3-FT 32-bit processor, which currently is acquiring space-flight heritage in Actel RTAX2000S FPGAs. Core8051s is already seeing deployment in designs targeting RTAX-S space-flight FPGAs.

Key Features:

  • High-performance 8-bit microcontroller
  • 1 clock per instruction
  • ASM51 (8051, 8031, 80C51) compatible
  • Can be used with existing 8051 tools and code
  • APB bus peripheral interface
  • Optional MUL, DIV, DA instructions; can be removed if not used to further reduce core size
  • Optional OCI debug block
Core8051s continues to support low-power ProASIC®3 and Actel Fusion® mixed-signal FPGA families.

Pricing and Availability
Core8051s is available free of charge with Actel's Libero® Integrated Design Environment (IDE), using Actel's SmartDesign IP design canvas tool. Libero IDE can be downloaded and installed directly from Actel's website. The Actel Libero IDE Gold edition is available for Windows® XP or Vista free of charge. The Actel Libero IDE Platinum edition is available for Windows and Linux platforms for $2,495. All editions are one-year renewable licenses.

About Actel

Actel is the leader in low-power FPGAs and mixed-signal FPGAs, offering the most comprehensive portfolio of system and power management solutions. Power Matters. Learn more at


Ivanya Terrazas
Actel Corporation
Tel.: 650-318-4500

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