Clarification on Discontinued Chip

I wish to clarify Actel’s position in 

the article “BAE To Revive Production, Sales of Legacy Microchip” [July 23, page 10], in which

it is stated that “Actel discontinued the [original RH1280 FPGA] line in 2006.”

This could lead readers to the mistaken belief that it was Actel’s decision to discontinue the popular RH1280 product line.

The requirement to discontinue

the RH1280 was forced by BAE Systems, who

in 2003

shut down and dismantled

the 0.8um production line that

was used to manufacture the original RH1280. Actel reached an agreement with BAE Systems at that time to


Actel to stock sufficient parts to continue to meet customer demand until 2006.

In 2006

BAE Systems justified the economic cost of starting production of the RH1280B on new production equipment. In 2007

our two companies reached a licensing agreement permitting BAE Systems to begin production of the RH1280B on their own, thus enabling customers to continue to use these successful parts.

And, while Actel is no longer

supplying RH1280 devices directly, we are pleased that through this licensing agreement customers will continue to have access to the line, as we remain committed to our customers’ success in their space designs.

Ken O’Neill

Director, Military & Aerospace Product Marketing, Actel Corp.

Mountain View, Calif