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Xilinx 28nm FPGAs pack two million logic cells

Posted: 23 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Xilinx 7  FPGA  28nm  Virtex  Kintex 

Xilinx Inc. has announced plans to introduce three distinct families of FPGAs at the 28nm node with devices featuring 50 per cent power reduction compared with its 40nm devices and capacities up to two million logic cells.

This is one of several changes about the next-generation FPGAs in the Xilinx 7 series, which includes the high-end Virtex family, the mid-range Kintex family and the low-cost Artix family and is scheduled to be available in Q1 11.

As previously disclosed in February, the series 7 devices will also feature a scalable architecture to enable customers to migrate 28nm designs between the product families much more easily than has previously been possible. The 28nm series 7 devices will also feature 50 per cent power reduction compared to the company's 40nm devices and offer capacity of up to two million logic cells.

Patrick Dorsey, senior director of product management at Xilinx, said the company chose to expand to three families of FPGAs at 28nm after meeting with more than 300 customers over the past two years. The customers told Xilinx they wanted the flexibility to migrate designs between families easily, reduced power consumption to enable higher performance and the ability to meet power budgets and a mid-range class of device between Xilinx's traditional high-performance and low-power offerings, Dorsey said.

According to Moshe Gavrielov, Xilinx president and CEO, the series 7 devices will accelerate the trend of FPGAs displacing ASICs. By enabling customers to use less power without compromising on higher capacity and increased performance, the series 7 devices will address a market that is roughly twice the size of that available to Xilinx's 40nm Virtex-6 and 45nm Spartan-6 parts, Gavrielov said.

Gavrielov, acknowledging that FPGA vendors have been claiming to take market share from ASICs for years, said FPGAs are now poised to displace them for a wide variety of applications. "We are not saying [ASICs] are dead, but they are getting more niche, for more high-volume applications," he said. "FPGAs are becoming more mainstream."

The 28nm families also extend Xilinx's targeted design platform strategy introduced with Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 parts, now in volume productions, Xilinx said. The strategy combines FPGAs, Xilinx's ISE design suite software tools and IP, development kits and targeted reference designs to offer a validated set of components that encompasses about 80 per cent of a design for various target applications, allowing customers to focus their resources to add differentiating features in the remaining 20 per cent or so.

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