Altera and HCELL Engineering Announce DO-254-Certifiable Nios II Embedded Processor

SAN JOSE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—April 28, 2008— Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) and HCELL Engineering today announced the development of a safety-critical version of Alteras Nios® II embedded processor. The embedded processor core complies with the objectives and requirements of the DO-254 hardware avionic standard and meets the highest design-assurance levels. This safety-critical version of the Nios II processor is offered through HCELL Engineering to customers who must comply with DO-254 requirements. In a separate announcement made today, Altera formally launched its DO-254 Global Partner Network, which provides a comprehensive environment of DO-254 certifiable intellectual property (IP) cores, in-hardware verification flows and documentation for military and avionics customers.

HCELL Engineering will provide complete DO-254 certification for the safety-critical Nios II embedded processor, including source code and documentation such as a PHAC-plan for hardware certification, a hardware design document (HDD) and a hardware accomplishment summary (HAS). Airborne electronic hardware designers complying with the DO-254 standard can leverage this soft processor core while minimizing obsolescence in systems that typically have long life cycles. The safety-critical Nios II embedded processors are implemented within Alteras portfolio of Cyclone® and Stratix® FPGAs and HardCopy® ASICs.

Altera and HCELL Engineering worked closely with Thales Aerospace to validate this safety-critical version of the Nios II embedded processor within its latest avionics system. Jérôme Papineau, product manager at Thales Aerospace, commented, We worked with Altera and HCELL Engineering since the beginning of our project to ensure Alteras embedded processor core meets the safety standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency. The Nios II soft processor provides us with a compelling solution that meets our performance and system requirements, while allowing us to manage system obsolescence. With its DO-254 certification, the Nios II embedded processor can be integrated into our system with confidence.

Lionel Burgaud, DO-254 Users Group founder and chairman, added, Altera has been a valuable member of the DO-254 Users Group since its inception in 2004. Altera and HCELL Engineering have made all the necessary efforts to understand the objectives and requirements of DO-254 in order to deliver a safety-critical version of the Nios II embedded processor.

Alteras Nios II embedded processor is a configurable, 32-bit FPGA-based soft microprocessor used in a wide variety of applications and end markets, including military, aerospace and avionics. The Nios II processor provides a high-performance, low-cost and flexible microprocessor core that is capable of meeting customers unique demands. The processor core allows users to target a range of silicon, including CPLDs, FPGAs and HardCopy ASICs, covering nearly every customers cost and performance needs.

Alteras Nios II embedded processor is one of the most versatile embedded processors available, offering attractive features and high performance, said Majed Halila, managing director, HCELL Engineering. As a result, the Nios II embedded processor enables engineers to avoid hardware obsolescence and get to market quickly, making it an ideal solution to use in avionics systems.

The Nios II embedded processor provides an ideal solution to replace microcontrollers and microprocessors used in commercial avionics and military applications, said Karl-Heinz Gatterer, European military and aerospace marketing manager, Altera Corporation. As a result of our work with HCELL Engineering over the past year, customers are now ready to leverage our embedded processor in their safety-critical avionics systems.


The DO-254-certifiable, safety-critical version of the Nios II embedded processor is available and supported by HCELL Engineering. For more information, contact an HCELL Engineering sales representative or visit For more information about the DO-254 Users Group and initiative, visit, and for more information about Alteras DO-254 Global Partner Network, visit .html. (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field.  Remove the extra space if one exists.)

About HCELL Engineering

HCELL Engineering provides solutions and consulting services for safety-critical embedded-system applications targeting avionics, industrial and automotive markets. HCELL Engineering has expert knowledge on complex soft IP and custom design development according to the design assurance guidance for airborne electronics hardware, RTCA DO-254 up to DAL A, targeting FPGA and ASIC technologies. Further information is available on the HCELL Engineering website at

About Altera

Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Find out more at

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