Wind River to Offer Linux Support for Altera's Nios II Embedded Processor

San Jose and Alameda, Calif., March 2, 2009–Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Wind River (NASDAQ: WIND) today announced the availability of Linux support for Altera's Nios® II embedded processor. Embedded developers deploying products based on the Nios II processor can use this Linux solution across Altera's entire portfolio of FPGAs and HardCopy® ASICs.

Wind River's Linux solution for the Nios II processor is based on Linux 2.6 kernel technology, the GNU 4 tool chain and the Eclipse-based Wind River Workbench Development Suite. This solution adheres to well-known industry standards on Linux and tools and is customized to support the Nios II instruction set, the processor architecture and the custom instructions feature that can be implemented in the FPGA fabric to increase system performance.

"Together, Altera and Wind River have brought Linux support to the Nios II embedded processor on FPGAs," said Mike Langlois, general manager of networking solutions at Wind River. "Our customers can leverage a flexible hardware and software solution to create and bring to market faster, highly differentiated systems. The fact that the Nios II processor can run on all of Altera's FPGAs and HardCopy ASICs to enable a broad spectrum of solutions is well-matched to the needs of our customers who are looking to differentiate on price and performance."

Providing software developers a fast start on an FPGA-based platform, the Altera® and Wind River development framework offers an integrated, network-enabled processor-system reference design that boots Linux on power-up. Implemented on a Cyclone III FPGA Development Kit, the underlying hardware platform is a fully timing-constrained and performance-optimized processor subsystem design with a Nios II/f core and a number of common system peripherals such as Ethernet, timer and UART. A matching board support package (BSP) and a pre-built Linux kernel for this hardware platform give application developers a familiar and stable environment to jumpstart their application development effort. The same processor system reference design can target any FPGA or HardCopy ASIC in Altera's product portfolio.

"As more customers adopt FPGA platforms to create product differentiation in ever bigger and more sophisticated systems, their software development needs increase and evolve," said Danny Biran, senior vice president of product and corporate marketing at Altera. "Our relationship with Wind River provides us with a partner who can support the broad and diverse needs of our global customers, and whose breath and depth of software expertise complements our hardware expertise."

Recognized by market-research firm Gartner as the FPGA industry's most widely used embedded processor in terms of design starts, the Nios II embedded processor is deployed in systems because of its flexibility, ease of integration and low cost. The Nios II embedded processor is a configurable, high-performance solution that delivers up to 340 DMIPS of performance in FPGAs and can be implemented in a few cents worth of logic elements. Using Altera's Quartus® II software tool suite, including the SOPC Builder tool, embedded developers can create systems with an exact-fit processor and just the right set of peripherals, and target them to Altera's devices.

The Linux distribution, a Nios II/f-based processor-system reference design, and a BSP for the Altera Cyclone III FPGA Development Kit are available from Wind River. Customers interested in purchasing the Linux solution for use on Altera's Nios II embedded processor should contact Wind River at To learn more about Altera's Nios II embedded processor, visit

About Altera
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About Wind River
Wind River is the global leader in Device Software Optimization (DSO). Wind River enables companies to develop, run and manage device software faster, better, at lower cost and more reliably. Wind River platforms are pre-integrated, fully standardized, enterprise-wide development solutions. They reduce effort, cost and risk and optimize quality and reliability at all phases of the device software development process, from concept to deployed product.

Founded in 1981, Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, Calif., with operations worldwide. To learn more, visit Wind River at

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Jessica Miller
Global Corporate Communications