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It was five years ago this week that Xilinx Inc. first disclosed details of its Virtex family of FPGAs to cover the high end of its spectrum of operations. Virtex is still spearheading the Xilinx' attack on the ASIC market and Virtex family devices are now some of the most highly-integrated chips being made, requiring up to nine layers of metal interconnect.
This article first appeared on SBN's website on November 24, 1997.
SAN JOSE, Calif., November 24, 1997 --Xilinx Inc. here today disclosed the architectural details of a new series of system-level FPGA devices, called the Virtex series. The company said these high-density, high-performance field programmable gate arrays will be offered as alternatives to system-level ASICs.
The company said these FPGAs will be capable of offering chip customers integrated varied, high-speed functions for such applications as wireless communications, telecommunications, and computer systems.
The series is fabricated with the company's 0.25-micron 5LM process technology, which supports chip frequencies greater than 100 MHz and million-gate FPGAs. The process has five layers of interconnect technology.
"We have executed brilliantly on our previously released five-year roadmap with the delivery of the first quarter-micron FPGA devices last month," said Wim Roelandts, president and CEO at Xilinx. "This process leadership is the foundation for architectural innovation demonstrated in our Virtex series, allowing Xilinx to continue to penetrate exciting new markets that were previously captive to inflexible ASIC technology."
Xilinx said it is working with EDA suppliers to line up libraries for the Virtex series. The San Jose FPGA supplier also said it has worked with its EDA partners to co-developed a high-density solution for ASIC designers resulting in higher performance, faster compile times, and innovations that push state-of-the-art methodologies for FPGA design.
The first Virtex devices will contain 250,000 system gates and 316 user I/O lines. They are slated to become available in samples in the second quarter of 1998. Virtex FPGAs offering up to one million system gates are expected in the second half of 1998, according to Xilinx.