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ARM-based devices target high-end embedded apps

Posted: 04 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ARM  Cortex-A9  28nm programmable logic  Zynq-7000 family 

Xilinx Inc. rolls out the Zynq-7000 family of devices that combine an ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor-based system with 28nm, low-power programmable logic developed for its Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) showcased at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany.

The Zynq-7000 family's programmable logic is based on Xilinx's 7 series FPGA architecture to ensure 100 per cent compatibility with respect to IP, tools and performance across all devices within the 28nm generation.

The smallest Zynq-7000 devices—the Zynq-7010 and Zynq-7020—are based on the Artix-7 family which is optimised for lower cost and power. The larger Zynq-7030 and Zynq-7040 devices are based on the Kintex-7 family and includes between four and 12 10.3Gbit/s transceiver channels and a PCI Express Gen2 block for high-speed off-chip connectivity. All four devices also include a new dual 12bit 1Msps ADC block.

The EPP architecture was introduced at the ESC in April 2010 with the promise that pricing and availability will be announced for products based on it in early 2011.

Each Zynq-7000 EPP device is built with an ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processing system with NEON and double precision floating point engines. The processing system is fully integrated and hardwired, and includes L1 and L2 caches, memory controllers, and commonly used peripherals.

Cortex-A9 MPCore boots at power-up and can run a variety of OS independent of the programmable logic. The processing system then configures the programmable logic on an as-needed basis. With this approach, the software programming model is exactly the same as standard, fully featured ARM processor-based SoCs.

Application developers can take advantage of the programmable logic's parallel processing to handle large amounts of data across a range of signal processing applications, as well as extend the features of the processing system by implementing additional peripherals.

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