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BittWare Announces Altera(r) Stratix(r) IV GX-based AMC


concord, nh – December 16, 2008 – BittWare, Inc., the leading supplier of hybrid signal processing board-level solutions, announced today the release of the S4-AMC (S4AM), the first member of the “S4” family of board-level signal processing solutions which leverage Altera® Corporation's Stratix® IV family of FPGAs. This Advanced Mezzanine Card (AdvancedMC) uses the Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA to provide unparalleled performance and flexibility. Using the world’s largest FPGAs, the S4AM can be populated with multiple densities of the Stratix IV GX FPGA, from 230K to 530K logic elements (LEs). To extend the inherent flexibility of AMC, the S4AM includes a front-panel module (FM) site for processing and I/O expansion, further enabling designers to adapt the S4AM to their complex and changing requirements. BittWare’s ATLANTiS™ FrameWork provides designers with fully validated board-level physical interfaces, data fabrics, and control planes for the S4AM’s FPGA; in conjunction with the board’s FINe host/control bridge, the ATLANTiS FrameWork greatly simplifies application development and integration of this powerful board.

"We designed our Stratix IV GX FPGAs to provide unparalleled density with a high performance-to-power ratio," said David Greenfield, Altera Corporation's senior director of product marketing for high-end products. "Having a third party partner like BittWare who uses their signal processing expertise to create a board-level product based on the Stratix IV GX FPGA provides our communications and military customers with the means to easily harness this technology."

“The S4AM provides a completely flexible solution for any customer requiring high-density processing on a small form-factor,” stated Ron Huizen, VP of Technology at BittWare. “Not only does the S4AM take advantage of the unparalleled performance of the Stratix IV GX FPGA, it enhances that with BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork and the option of a front panel I/O module, giving our customers a complete solution.”

About the S4-AMC

At the heart of the S4AM is the state-of-the-art Altera Stratix IV GX FPGA which provides up to 530K equivalent LEs, 20 Mbits of RAM, and 1,024 embedded multipliers in addition to up to 27 full-duplex, multi-gigabit transceivers – 24 of which are high-performance, capable of supporting PCI Express Rev 2.0 and Serial RapidIO Rev 2.0. The S4AM connects the Stratix IV GX transceivers to three ports (1, 2, & 3) in the AMC commons options region, and 16 ports (4 – 15, 17 - 20) in the AMC fat pipes region. These 19 ports provide a network data and control switch fabric interface on the AMC connector. Additionally, four of the Stratix IV GX transceivers are made available on the AMC front panel via an Infiniband-type connector. All AMC clocks are also connected to the Stratix IV GX FPGA to facilitate system synchronization.

Supporting processing and I/O expansion, the S4AM provides a Front-panel Module (FM) which is connected to the Stratix IV GX FPGA via eight SerDes and 68 pairs of LVDS I/O. This VITA57-like proprietary module site can be populated with FMs provided by BittWare or with modules developed by third parties or customers.

BittWare’s ATLANTiS FrameWork provides the Stratix IV GX FPGA on the S4AM with fully validated board-level physical interfaces to I/O, communications, and memory, along with DMA engines and resource arbitration. A standard, open data interconnect fabric implemented using Altera’s streaming Avalon interface allows the ATLANTiS modules to be easily connected. Similarly, a standard control fabric using memory-mapped Avalon allows ATLANTiS modules to be easily controlled and coordinated. The ATLANTiS FrameWork frees users of the S4AM from having to reinvent low-level IP for the FPGA, and allows them to focus on the development of their application’s unique processing and I/O requirements.

BittWare’s FINe Bridge implements a complete host/control bridge for the S4AM with extensive software support, thus removing that complexity from the data plane, I/O, and processing implemented on the Stratix IV GX FPGA. The FINe provides Gigabit Ethernet on port 0 of the common options region, along with 10/100 Ethernet and RS232 monitor port on the AMC front panel, and is connected to the FPGA via a local control bus.

The S4AM also implements the standard Module Management Control Interface (IPMI).

Complete Development Support

BittWare offers a complete suite of development tools to make developing and debugging applications for the S4AM easy and efficient. These software tools provide host interface libraries, a wide variety of diagnostic utilities and configuration tools, and debug tools. This tool set is comprised of BittWare’s DSP21k Toolkit, and DSP21k Porting Kit.


BittWare will begin shipping Early Access Units to its lead customer late Q109, with OEM quantities available late Q209 priced at $5,000.

About BittWare, Inc.

Founded in 1989, BittWare, Inc. is the leading designer and manufacturer of hybrid (FPGA and DSP) board-level solutions based on Altera’s FPGA s and Analog Devices’ TigerSHARC® technology. The company provides the essential building blocks required by OEMs for developing and deploying their innovative systems in defense, communications, instrumentation, and life sciences applications. BittWare’s product offering addresses OEM needs from prototype-to-production and span a variety of platforms, including AMC, VME/VPX, PCI, CompactPCI, PMC and standalone. For more information on BittWare and its innovative DSP and FPGA solutions, visit

Source: BittWare