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Altera and ARM Announce Industry's First FPGA-Adaptive Embedded Software Toolkit

Unique Partnership Creates DS-5 Toolkit That Removes Debugging Barriers for SoC FPGA Devices

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and ARM (LON: ARM; NASDAQ: ARMH) today announced that, with a unique agreement, the companies have jointly developed a DS-5 embedded software development toolkit with FPGA-adaptive debug capabilities for Altera SoC devices. The ARM® Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) Altera Edition toolkit is designed to remove the debugging barrier between the integrated dual-core CPU subsystem and FPGA fabric in Altera SoC devices. By combining the most advanced multi-core debugger for the ARM architecture with the ability to adapt to the logic contained in the FPGA, the new toolkit provides embedded software developers an unprecedented level of full-chip visibility and control through the standard DS-5 user interface. The new toolkit will be included in the Altera SoC Embedded Design Suite and will begin shipping in early 2013.



Altera SoC devices combine a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with FPGA logic on a single device, giving users the power and flexibility to create custom field-programmable SoC variants by implementing user-defined peripherals and hardware accelerators in the FPGA fabric. Altera is currently shipping initial samples of its Cyclone® V SoC devices. See the press release "Altera Ships Its First SoC Devices" announced today.

The ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Altera Edition toolkit dynamically adapts to unique customer configurations of the FPGA within the SoC to seamlessly extend embedded debugging capabilities across the CPU-FPGA boundary and unify all software debugging information from the CPU and FPGA domains with the standard DS-5 user interface. When combined with the advanced multi-core debugging capability of the DS-5 Debugger, and the link to the Quartus® II software SignalTap logic analyzer for cross-triggering capability, the toolkit delivers an unprecedented level of debugging visibility and control that leads to substantial productivity gains.

"Disruptive, innovative silicon devices demand equally disruptive and innovative software tools. That demand has been met by this innovative toolkit for Altera 28 nm Cyclone V and Arria V SoC devices and for upcoming Altera 20 nm SoC devices," said John Cornish, executive vice president of the System Design Division at ARM. "This technical innovation has unified CPU debugging with FPGA debugging to bolster user productivity. Altera and ARM have made this advanced tool technology with premium, productivity-boosting features widely available through Altera SoC development kits and the Altera SoC Embedded Design Suite. We believe this combination will deliver valuable benefits to our mutual customers."

The ARM DS-5 toolkit suite offers the most advanced multi-core debugger in the market for the ARM architecture. It supports debugging on systems running in asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) system configurations. It is broadly used for board bring-up, driver development, OS porting, bare-metal and Linux application development, through JTAG and Ethernet debugging interfaces, and offers Linux and RTOS awareness.

"We are very proud of the partnership and innovation in this joint work with ARM," said Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing at Altera. "The ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit gives software engineers an incredibly powerful development and debugging tool, allowing for the fastest development time for our SoC devices."

Key Features and Benefits:  

The ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit features the following capabilities:

  • Software debug view adapts to include the peripheral devices programmed by the developer into the FPGA fabric, providing a seamless view of both the hard and soft peripheral register memory map of the entire SoC.
  • The DS-5 Debugger simultaneously displays debug/trace data for the Cortex-A9 processor cores and CoreSight™-compliant custom logic cores implemented in the FPGA fabric.
  • Altera USB Blaster JTAG debug cable supports both the DS-5 debugger and other Altera JTAG-based tools for the Altera SoC device.
  • Allows non-intrusive capture and visualization of signal events in the FPGA fabric that can be time-correlated with software events and processor instruction trace.
  • Supports advanced, signal-level hardware cross-triggering between the CPU and FPGA logic domains, which enables cross-domain hardware/software co-debugging.
  • Includes the DS-5 Streamline performance analyzer, which correlates software thread and event information with hardware counters from both the SoC and FPGA, enabling the identification and correction of system-level bottlenecks.

Pricing and Availability
The ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit for Altera SoCs is being presented at the ARM Technical Symposium in Paris on December 13, 2012. This toolkit will be included in the Altera SoC Embedded Design Suite (Altera SoC EDS) Subscription Edition for $995. More information about the Altera SoC EDS can be found at More information about the ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit can be found at The Altera SoC EDS will start shipping in early 2013.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM's comprehensive product offering includes RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company's broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.

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 about Altera's FPGA, SoC, CPLD and ASIC devices at Follow Altera via Facebook, RSS and Twitter.

ALTERA, ARRIA, CYCLONE, HARDCOPY, MAX, MEGACORE, NIOS, QUARTUS and STRATIX words and logos are trademarks of Altera Corporation and registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective holders as described at

Editor Contact:
Sue Martenson
Altera Corporation
(408) 544-8158 
[email protected]

SOURCE Altera Corporation

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