Portable Applications Using MAX II Devices

In the past, the need for low power, reduced board space, and low-cost limited the use of programmable logic devices (PLDs) in portable application designs. Today however, due to low average selling prices combined with low power consumption and small form-factor packages, PLDs are used increasingly in portable application designs.

MAX® IIZ CPLDs are the latest milestone in Altera’s commitment to low-power, high-volume, small-footprint portable applications. Using the innovative architecture of the 1.8-V version of the MAX II CPLD family, Altera performed extensive engineering to achieve the industry’s lowest power consumption (standby and dynamic). The resulting zero-power devices offer the same non-volatile, instant-on advantage found in the cost-effective MAX II CPLD family—while meeting the small form factor and minimal power consumption requirements of the most demanding portable application designs.

Portable applications are no longer limited to consumer products. MAX IIZ CPLDs have the same low power leadership in the industrial temperature range of -40 to 100°C. MAX IIZ CPLDs make portable applications possible in the most demanding environments.

MAX IIZ CPLD Value for Portable Applications

Altera’s zero-power MAX IIZ CPLDs deliver the benefits of programmable logic—including flexibility, fast time-to-market, and board-level integration—in ultra-small, easy-to-use packages with ultra-low standby power. MAX IIZ CPLDs give you just what you need to design, differentiate, and deliver the next-generation of portable applications.

Zero-Power CPLD for Portable Applications

The lowest possible system power is essential to any portable application design. With the industry’s lowest static and dynamic power consumption, MAX IIZ CPLDs will work in the most demanding battery-powered applications:

Reduce Board Space in Portable Application Designs

Optimized for space-constrained portable application designs, MAX IIZ CPLDs are entirely an MBGA family (see Table 1).

Table 1. MAX IIZ CPLD Packages and User I/O Pins


68-Pin MBGA (1)
5 x 5 mm

100-Pin MBGA (1)
6 x 6 mm

144-Pin MBGA (1)
7 x 7 mm

256-Pin MBGA (1)
11 x 11 mm



80 (2)



EPM570- 76 (2)116



  1. Micro FineLine BGA package (0.5-mm pitch)
  2. Vertical migration

The ability to build products that pack features and fit into the palm of your hand requires components that are optimized for space-constrained application designs (e.g., cellular handsets). MAX IIZ CPLDs are:

  • Ultra-small Micro FineLine BGA packages with abundant logic and I/O resources
  • Up to 6x the density and 3x the I/O in the same board area as traditional macrocell-based CPLDs
  • Ideal for implementing high feature integration in space-constrained portable application designs
  • BGA footprints designed for easy PCB break-out

Reduce System Costs in Portable Applications

MAX IIZ CPLDs help to reduce system costs in portable application designs by allowing extreme logic integration. See the Reduce Total System Cost in Portable Applications Using MAX II CPLDs white paper (PDF) for more information.

Get Started Now With Portable Applications

The following documents provide valuable information to help you plan and develop your portable application designs in the least amount of time:

Altera created a suite of design examples that represent many of the most common functions implemented by CPLDs. These design examples were created to help you get a quick start on your design.

  • Free, reusable, documented, and easy to use
  • Flexibility to mix, match, and alter to create different applications
  • Known, working starting point that accelerates design process
  • Fully simulated, tested, and implemented on hardware

For more information, or to download free design examples, please visit Altera's Design Examples web page.

When you choose MAX IIZ CPLDs, you also get access to a comprehensive portfolio of design resources. Altera’s Quartus® II design software is the market’s performance and productivity leader. Delivering ease-of-use and fast time-to-market, Quartus II software comes with the added advantage of power analysis tools. Its PowerPlay early power estimator helps you determine what your design’s power consumption will be. Quartus II PowerPlay power analysis and optimization technology measures both core and I/O power consumption in your design. Download free design software and MAX II CPLD literature, including:

End Markets and Portable Applications

Portable applications are proliferating and therefore causing an increasing demand for small, inexpensive products that support high levels of functionality with an extended battery life.

Portable products are used in a variety of markets including consumer, medical, test and measurement, automotive, and wireless/wireline. End applications in these markets include cellular handsets, smart phones, PDAs, mobile navigation units, digital media broadcast units, educational toys, portable media players, barcode scanners, industrial PDAs, handheld ultrasounds, handheld testers, and wireless network cards.

Zero-power MAX IIZ CPLDs in ultra-small form-factor packages are ideal for functions that require high I/O count per board area, such as interfacing with an LCD display, keypad, flash LEDs, or memory in portable application designs. In addition, they also provide high logic per board area, which is needed for integration of discrete components to minimize PCB space.

Customer Success with Portable Application Design

Many portable system designers are already taking advantage of Altera’s MAX II CPLDs to meet continuing demands for small, inexpensive products. MAX II CPLDs enable you to achieve your power, board space, and cost targets.