ProASIC3 Device Family Overview
Your valuable IP is protected with industry-standard security, making remote ISP possible. A ProASIC3
device provides the best available security for programmable logic designs.
Flash-based FPGAs store their configuration information in on-chip flash cells. Once programmed, the
configuration data is an inherent part of the FPGA structure, and no external configuration data needs to
be loaded at system power-up (unlike SRAM-based FPGAs). Therefore, flash-based ProASIC3 FPGAs
do not require system configuration components such as EEPROMs or microcontrollers to load device
configuration data. This reduces bill-of-materials costs and PCB area, and increases security and system
Flash-based ProASIC3 devices support Level 0 of the Instant On classification standard. This feature
helps in system component initialization, execution of critical tasks before the processor wakes up, setup
and configuration of memory blocks, clock generation, and bus activity management. The Instant On
feature of flash-based ProASIC3 devices greatly simplifies total system design and reduces total system
cost, often eliminating the need for CPLDs and clock generation PLLs that are used for these purposes in
a system. In addition, glitches and brownouts in system power will not corrupt the ProASIC3 device's
flash configuration, and unlike SRAM-based FPGAs, the device will not have to be reloaded when
system power is restored. This enables the reduction or complete removal of the configuration PROM,
expensive voltage monitor, brownout detection, and clock generator devices from the PCB design. Flash-
based ProASIC3 devices simplify total system design and reduce cost and design risk while increasing
system reliability and improving system initialization time.
Firm errors occur most commonly when high-energy neutrons, generated in the upper atmosphere, strike
a configuration cell of an SRAM FPGA. The energy of the collision can change the state of the
configuration cell and thus change the logic, routing, or I/O behavior in an unpredictable way. These
errors are impossible to prevent in SRAM FPGAs. The consequence of this type of error can be a
complete system failure. Firm errors do not exist in the configuration memory of ProASIC3 flash-based
FPGAs. Once it is programmed, the flash cell configuration element of ProASIC3 FPGAs cannot be
altered by high-energy neutrons and is therefore immune to them. Recoverable (or soft) errors occur in
the user data SRAM of all FPGA devices. These can easily be mitigated by using error detection and
correction (EDAC) circuitry built into the FPGA fabric.
Flash-based ProASIC3 devices exhibit power characteristics similar to an ASIC, making them an ideal
choice for power-sensitive applications. ProASIC3 devices have only a very limited power-on current
surge and no high-current transition period, both of which occur on many FPGAs.
ProASIC3 devices also have low dynamic power consumption to further maximize power savings.