LONDON Xilinx has just celebrated its 25th anniversary as semiconductor company by launching its Spartan-6 and Virtex-6 families of field-programmable gate arrays.
One Spartan-6 FPGA, an LX16 device, is already sampling while initial Virtex-6 device samples will be available in the second quarter of 2009. Xilinx targeted design platforms providing software support, tested IP, and reference designs with boards and kits will be available in the second half 2009, the company said
The sixth generation in the Spartan FPGA Series, the Spartan-6 FPGA family is fabricated on low-power 45-nanometer (nm), 9-metal layer, dual-oxide process technology and is intended to take Xilinx up closer to serving high-volume consumer applications. The architecture includes devices with up to 150k 6-input configurable look-up blocks (6-CLBs). It comes in LX and LXT versions where the LX includes DSP slices for fast parallel ALU work and the LXT includes high-speed serial communications.
At up to 50 percent lower power and 20 percent lower cost than previous generations of FPGA, Virtex-6 is implemented on a 40-nm process technology and up to delivers up to 760k logic cells.
With a 1.0-V core voltage with a 0.9-V low-power option, Xilinx claimed that the Virtex-6 offers 15 percent higher performance and 15 percent lower power consumption compared to competitor 40-nm FPGA offerings. These advances enable system architects to integrate Virtex-6 FPGAs into their designs to enable ‘green’ central offices and data centers, the company said. Virtex-6 comes in LXT, HXT, and SXT versions with different combinations of storage, DSP and serial communications performance.
“We are reaching the tipping point at which FPGAs become the prevailing silicon platform of choice for electronic manufacturers who need customization to differentiate their products, but are faced with incredibly unattractive ASIC development costs,” said Moshe Gavrielov, Xilinx president and CEO, in a statement.
The Virtex-6 devices offer up to 2.5 times the logic capacity of the Virtex-5 generation and twice the DSP resources. A variety of serial communications transceivers are included on different FPGAs that can operate at 3.2-, 6.5- and 11.2-Gbits per second.
The Spartan-6 family is priced at between about $3 and $54 in high volume of 10,000 units, according to Brent Pryzbus, director of product marketing. The Virtex-6 range is priced at between $50 and $2,000, depending on FPGA logic capacity and volume.
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