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Xilinx opens 'targeted design era' at 25

Posted: 29 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Virtex-6  Spartan-6  design platforms  LTE base band 

Clement Cheung, Xilinx's director of marketing and applications for the Asia Pacific and Great China

Clement Cheung, Xilinx's director of marketing and applications for the Asia Pacific and Great China

FPGA and fables pioneer Xilinx, Inc. celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2009 with the launch of its next-generation product families of Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA devices, and with the opening of "a new design era of Targeted Design Platforms (TDP)," according to Clement Cheung, Xilinx's director of marketing and applications for the Asia Pacific and Great China.

The company, which established operations in Asia (Hong Kong) in 1993 and entered India in 2004, currently has a headcount of 130 locally, mostly including applications, systems, IP, and software engineers. Its Hyderabad Development Centre has produced numerous IP cores and patents that have been developed for telecommunications, automotive, aerospace and defence, and consumer electronics applications for Xilinx' customers worldwide.

In this interview by EE Times-India, the Xilinx executive tells us more about the new FPGA families and the concept of the TDP, and also explains the trend that the company calls "the programmable imperative."

EETI: What are the new features offered by Spartan-6 and Virtex-6?
Cheung: Virtex-6 and low-cost Spartan-6 FPGAs are the foundations for a new generation of "targeted design platforms" that will enable system designers to increase productivity and minimise development costs. Together, the new families offer 20% faster performance, at 40% lower cost and up to 65% less power consumption. The new process geometries enable greater than 200% the logic capacity and greater than 300% register density as previous families. The Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 families also offer greater than 200% DSP bandwidth, greater than 200% higher serial I/O bandwidth, and greater than 37% higher parallel I/O bandwidth. With increased I/O bandwidth, FPGA designers can utilise DDR3 and higher I/O transfer rates to complement the higher performance from the FPGA itself.

EETI: Can you tell us about targeted design platforms?
Cheung: "Targeted design platform" is a Xilinx-specific term that describes the integration of five key components with customer design process and success in mind: 1) FPGA devices, 2) intellectual property (IP) cores, 3) design environments with industry-proven methodologies, 4) robust reference designs, and 5) scalable boards and kits. With FPGAs delivered by Xilinx, each of the components may be delivered by either Xilinx or third parties.

EETI: You've recently announced a TDP for programmable LTE base band and radio sub-systems at the Mobile World Congress. When will this TDP be available?

Cheung: The initial release of the LTE base band TDP with prototypes using WinPath-2 silicon and Xilinx Virtex-5 FXT FPGAs is targeted for completion in May 2009. Designs based on the new WinPath-3 and Xilinx Virtex-6 devices will be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.

EETI: As we understand, it can also be used for WiMAX designs. What do you foresee will provide a bigger market for this—LTE or WiMAX?
Cheung: We see LTE is more favourable in APAC, although WiMAX is gaining attention in some countries. TDP can be utilised for both standards since it is based on a programmable platform.

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