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Press Release

Java microcontroller core delivers breakthrough architecture offering 40+ MIPs performance in FPGAs

• DCT joins Xilinx AllianceCORE program and offers Lightfoot Java CPU as IP
• Customizable, single-chip solution delivers fast time-to-market for embedded applications

San Jose, CA and London, UK, August 24, 2001 - - Today, the embedded Java specialist Digital Communication Technologies, announces the availability of its Lightfoot™ Java processor in the form of a programmable core for Xilinx‚ FPGAs. Target applications include networked devices such as internet appliances, wireless terminals, and set-top boxes.

Offered as part of the Xilinx AllianceCORE™ intellectual property program, the 32-bit processor operates from a tiny memory footprint - providing an ideal design solution for embedded system OEMs. This implementation of the core can provide performance levels of over 40 MIPs from Virtex-II™ FPGAs - allowing designers to realise powerful single-chip control solutions for connected embedded systems without the cost and time associated with ASIC development.

"Lightfoot delivers the combination of real-time performance and economy that embedded system OEMs need to adopt Java," says Matt Kubiczek, CTO of DCT. "This FPGA implementation of the technology adds enormous flexibility - by providing a customisable platform with rapid time-to-market."

The processor's architecture and virtual machine employ a number of proprietary features to speed up and simplify Java language execution, resulting in higher code density than either competitive embedded Java cores, or conventional processors running Java. These features allow the processor to execute most bytecodes in a single instruction cycle, effectively making all code inline and avoiding the "code bloat" that can plague traditional Java implementations. The processor also allows users to create custom instructions, without making any changes to the supplied FPGA netlist - further boosting the efficiency and flexibility of the Lightfoot solution.

The Lightfoot core is compatible with J2ME and JavaCard and executes native Java bytecodes directly in hardware, providing an exceptionally efficient means of exploiting the benefits of the language in real-time systems. It additionally supports C, providing a practical means of migrating legacy code to new-generations of embedded system architectures.

Lightfoot will run on Xilinx Spartan-II™, Virtex-E™ and Virtex-II™ FPGAs. Purpose-designed for embedded systems, DCT's Lightfoot core uses around 25,000 gates in its conventional off-the-shelf chip form, and requires just 1710 'CLB slices' of Xilinx logic in its IP form. This is extremely compact, equating to around 3% of a top-of-the-line Virtex-II™ FPGA.

"The introduction of extremely sophisticated IP such as this for FPGA users is changing the electronic design landscape", said John Heighton, Xilinx European IP Cores & Services marketing manager. "In conjunction with the high gate counts and architectural features available on the latest Xilinx FPGA families, designers are now able to conceive completely new types of product and bring them to market extremely rapidly".

In addition to providing the processor netlist and support information specified by the AllianceCORE program, DCT offers a developer's board which packages Lightfoot (in a Spartan-II XC2S200 FPGA) with a variety of hardware resources including memory, an Ethernet controller, UART, LCD interface and timer.

The IP variant of Lightfoot for FPGA implementations adds customisable/system-on-chip options for developers, especially for developers building systems in lower quantities, opening up a wide range of applications in sectors including defence, industrial automation and telecommunications. Lightfoot's ability to support C, combined with an efficient architecture for handling conventional code, makes it easy for existing development teams to realise the benefits of the open language quickly and cost-effectively.

Development cards are available for $399, and evaluation licenses start from $5,000.

Further details are available from the DCT website (, and the Xilinx IP Center at (

For further details please contact:

DCT - Digital Communication Technologies Ltd
Unit 5, Windmill Business Village, Brooklands Close,
Sunbury TW16 7DY, UK
t: +44 (0)1932 784 858
f: +44 (0)1932 782 811

Andrea Fionda
Benchmark House
203 Brooklands Road
Surrey KT13 0RH
t: +44 870 7350 526

Press consultant:
Barrie Nicholson
t: +44 (0)1258 840999

About Xilinx
. Xilinx is the leading supplier of complete programmable logic solutions, including advanced integrated circuits, software design tools, predefined system functions delivered as intellectual property cores, and unparalleled field engineering support. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Xilinx invented the field programmable gate array (FPGA) and fulfills more than half of the world demand for these devices today. Xilinx solutions enable customers to reduce significantly the time required to develop products for the computer, peripheral, telecommunications, networking, industrial control, instrumentation, aerospace, defense, and consumer markets. <>

About DCT. Digital Communication Technologies Ltd (DCT) is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in microcontrollers and development environments for embedded Java™ applications. DCT's processor architectures offer exceptional code density through the use of innovative proprietary techniques to speed and simplify Java language execution, and are available in standalone chip and IP variants. Products for the entire embedded space are planned, starting with the ultra-lean lightfoot™ core - which implements a 32-bit processor using around 25,000 gates and is capable of operating from a tiny memory footprint. <>

Java, J2ME, KVM, CDC and CLDC are trade names of Sun Microsystems; Xilinx, Virtex and Spartan are trade names of Xilinx; lightfoot is a trade mark of DCT.



© 2003 DCT
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