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Altima Launches Sales of FPGA Development Kit, Applicable to a Wide Array of Interfaces Needed for Car Infotainment in the Auto Market

Altima Corp. today announced the sales launch of “Hydra” FPGA development kit (model: ALTHYDRA5CGX) for use in car infotainment equipped with Altera's low cost FPGA Cyclone V GX starting on March 12th, 2014.

FPGA development kit for car infotainment (Hydra) (Photo: Business Wire)

FPGA development kit for car infotainment (Hydra) (Photo: Business Wire)

Hydra is an I/O companion board for "R-Car H2," the second-generation car infotainment SoC (system-on-chip) from Renesas Electronics Corporation. The Hydra development kit comes equipped with an Altera Cyclone V GX automotive temperature grade FPGA that puts optimal performance within reach at minimal system cost and low power consumption. This scalable platform complements interfaces and functions of the SoCs for car infotainment systems.

In recent years car infotainment systems, amid ever higher performance and diversity demands, needs to provide support for: a wide variety of LCD panel interfaces; parking assistant features that use multi-channel video inputs due to having multiple car-mounted cameras; and video processing compatible with high-resolution panels. To this end, you can expand capabilities of the car infotainment SoCs by connecting the required daughter card to the high-speed interface (HSMC: High-Speed Mezzanine Connector) equipped on this development kit. Also, you will be able to reduce the component cost of the end-product by building a flexible platform to adopt different specifications for each function and end market.

In addition to this development kit, Altima is developing various peripherals including a video interface cable (model: ALTHYDRAVIN) that can be connected to a board with Renesas R-Car H2 SoC, an LVDS daughter card (model: ALTHYDRALVDS), and a configuration daughter card (model: ALTHYDRACONFG). These will be released for sale as they become available. Combining these peripherals with Hydra and Renesas board with R-Car H2, you can evaluate video input expansions and an array of different types of interfaces. Also note that this development kit can be used alone to evaluate FPGAs.

Altima offers these products under Macnica Group's technology brand "Mpression" not only domestically in Japan, but also in North America, China, Taiwan, and ASEAN countries through each respective Macnica subsidiary.

Special features of Altima's "Hydra" (model: ALTHYDA5CGX)

  • Equipped with an automotive temperature grade FPGA
  • Connectable to a Renesas board with R-Car H2
    (Video interface cable, LVDS daughter card, and configuration board sold separately)
  • High-speed I/F capable: can connect with HSMC equipped daughter boards

"Hydra" (model: ALTHYDRA5CGX) main specifications

  • FPGA: Cyclone V GX (5CGXFC7C6U19A7N; automotive temperature grade product)
  • Memory: DDR3-800 32bit x 2, Flash memory
  • Expansion connector: HSMC x 1, EXIO x 1 (to connect with a Renesas board with R-Car H2)
  • Additional interfaces: PCI Express Gen1 x1 Lane, Ethernet (10/100), Push switch

"Video Interface Cable" (model: ALTHYDRAVIN) main specifications

  • Cable with Samtec connectors
  • Can connect to EXIO port of Hydra and a Renesas board with R-Car H2

"LVDS daughter card" (model: ALTHYDRALVDS) main specifications

  • Equipped with LVDS Rx (Receive), Tx (Transmit), and EXIO connectors
  • The LVDS port on a Renesas board with R-Car H2 and the EXIO port on Hydra can be connected using the included LVDS cable.

"Configuration/Daughter card" (model: ALTHYDRACONFG) main specifications

  • LVDS Rx (Receive), and Tx (Transmit) connectors
  • The EXIO on a Renesas board with R-Car H2 and the PFL connector on Hydra can be connected using the included configuration cable.

Product Specifications and details

Sales commencement-time

  • March 2014 : order-acceptance and shipping


  • Car infotainment: A word coined from Information and Entertainment. It combines in one word: a comfortable driving milieu; music and video entertainment; the display of traffic and emergency information, etc.
  • SoC: An abbreviation of System-on-a-chip. An integrated chip equipped with the necessary functions (the system) on a single semiconductor chip.
  • R-Car: Renesas’ lineup of SoCs for automotive information systems including car navigation systems.
  • HSMC(High Speed Mezzanine Connector): High-speed transfer-capable expansion interface equipped on Altera evaluation boards.
  • eDP: An abbreviation of Embedded DisplayPort. An interface for built-in display ports, which acts as an interface for existing digital displays.

About Altima Corp.

Altima Corporation, founded in 1991, provides sales, service and technical support for semiconductors and other global leading-edge high-performance products in the Japanese market. Since its establishment, Altima has been one of the world's leading distributors of Altera (U.S.) CPLD/FPGA products. Altima provides total support services, from developmental support for products that utilize Altera products, to technical support and programming services. Altima also provides customers with a one-stop total solution by carrying a wide variety of leading-edge products that cover a broad range of applications, such as communications equipment, industrial equipment, digital consumer devices, storage devices, and OA devices - as well as providing technical support for those products.

For more information about Altima, please visit http://www.altima.co.jp/en/index.html

About Mpression

Mpression™ is a family of technical solutions to help Macnica Group’s electronics design customers, combining the technical expertise and solutions developed by Macnica Group companies worldwide. In addition to its renowned technical support as a leading global distributor, Macnica takes another step ahead with Mpression solutions to integrate the technical knowledge and solutions built by all Macnica Group companies to accelerate customers’ product design process. The Mpression solutions include evaluation boards, reference designs, IP building blocks and software, and are offered not only by the companies who developed them, but also other Macnica group companies operating in Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe. For more details about Mpression, please refer to the web site: http://www.m-pression.com/

*Company names mentioned in this press release and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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