Anadigm: New program reduces cost, delivers 'functional equivalents' to FPAAs

Field-programmable analog arrays (FPAAs)—which are analog equivalents of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)—slash time, effort, and cost to develop analog interfaces for embedded systems in a variety of applications.


Field-programmable analog arrays (FPAAs)—which are analog equivalents of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)—slash time, effort, and cost to develop analog interfaces for embedded systems in a variety of applications. FPAAs abstract analog functions to software where the functions the can be controlled, modified, and reconfigured in real time.

Anadigm has launched a new program named FreezeFrame intended for high-volume users of its FPAAs that’s functionally equivalent to these devices and offers a "cost reduction path yielding savings up to 60% over the life of a given design," according to the company. With the new program, customers applying FPAAs in production designs can obtain a lower-cost, structured ASIC that serves as a drop-in replacement for their FPAA device. Anadigm FreezeFrame reportedly removes unnecessary programming and configuration resources for the specific application, providing a more cost-effective, reduced die-area device.

"Our FreezeFrame program gives embedded system designers a new perspective on how programmable analog can fit into high-volume designs, where eventual cost reductions must be planned for," says Nathan John, Anadigm VP of worldwide marketing. "By creating FreezeFrame, we’re responding to this need for a number of existing customers who are in a position to take advantage of the program, as well as addressing high-volume opportunities for FPAAs in general."

Anadigm guarantees that its FreezeFrame devices will be compatible with (and match the performance of) the original FPAAs on which they are based—because the basic building blocks and process technology are identical. As a result, customers can go to production with an FPAA and bring products to market faster, then migrate to a FreezeFrame solution when they’re ready. "Customers can allow time for a design to stabilize prior to committing to a custom solution and thus minimize their risks," says Anadigm.

EDA software, AnadigmDesigner2, reportedly makes programming the devices a simple drag-and-drop process. To participate in the FreezeFrame program, customers with stable production designs with an FPAA just need to provide Anadigm with the AnadigmDesigner2 file used to configure the device. The file is used to create a FreezeFrame equivalent and deliver working prototypes for evaluation. Production quantities can be available four weeks after customer approval of the FreezeFrame device.

First FPAA devices for which Anadigm will offer FreezeFrame equivalents are AN120E04 and AN121E04.
A complete evaluation kit with a development board, entry-level software, and updated documentation is $199. A multimedia demonstration of AnadigmDesigner2 EDA tool can be viewed at the company Web site .

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,

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