A friend at Xilinx just emailed me to say: "We shipped parts to two customers on Friday and we’ve posted a video to YouTube – everyone here is ecstatic about how quickly these came in and how well they’re testing."
You can certainly sense the enthusiasm, can’t you? Of course, this relates to this weekend’s press release in which the folks at Xilinx announced the beginning of their 7 series FPGA rollout with shipment of the first Kintex-7 K325T FPGA.
You can’t blame the folks at Xilinx for being excited. The way they see this is that they’ve just achieved the industry's fastest product rollout of next generation programmable logic devices built with 28nm technology.
Kintex-7 FPGAs are built to provide optimal price performance at the lowest power to meet requirements for key applications. At the same time, the Kintex-7 FPGA family leverages the unified architecture shared across the 7 series, 28nm device families to enable customers to begin FPGA development now for designs that may ultimately migrate to Artix-7 and Virtex-7 FPGAs.
The Kintex-7 devices are offered in conjunction with the Xilinx ISE Design Suite 13, AMBA 4 Advanced Extensible Interface (AXI) bus protocol-compliant IP, and targeted reference designs. All of these Targeted Design Platform components run on the new Kintex-7 FPGA KC705 evaluation board currently being demonstrated for customers so that designers can evaluate the power consumption, performance, and capabilities of the new Kintex-7 K325T devices. Xilinx delivered the new devices in less than 90 days from tape-out by leveraging TSMC's 28nm High-Performance, Low-Power (HPL) process that relies on proven design and manufacturing methodologies. You can see a video demonstration of the device on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=abmQPQ6Eiww.
"The optimal price performance available in the Kintex-7 family makes it an ideal fit for our next generation visualization products," said Eric Wogsberg, CEO of Jupiter Systems. "The new 7 series unified architecture also allows us to start developing products today that use Kintex-7 and later upgrade to more advanced products that will use the Virtex-7 FPGA family. This lowers our development cost and allows us to build scalable solutions."
"As the world's fastest-growing oscilloscope vendor, we're continually looking for technology that offers higher performance, lower power, with high-speed transceivers. We're in a unique position of offering scopes with unparalleled real-time 32GHz analog bandwidth and sampling scopes for high-speed serial debug and characterization, as well as developing instruments that rely on capable high-speed serial I/O. We're excited to be one of the first customers to be shipped a Kintex-7 K325T FPGA due to its combination of performance, low power, and serial capabilities. The price performance available in the Kintex-7 family makes it compelling for next generation test equipment," said Joel Woodward, high-performance oscilloscope planner, Agilent Technologies. "We've used Xilinx devices in multiple generations of oscilloscope where we are driven to lower development cost and build scalable test and measurement solutions."
28nm Targeted Design Platform accelerates 7 Series FPGA development
With the shipping of the first Kintex-7 FPGAs to customers, Xilinx is also introducing the industry's first 28nm Targeted Design Platform that combines the Kintex-7 K325T FPGA, ISE development tools, AXI 4 compliant IP, and an initial version of the base targeted reference design running on the Kintex-7 FPGA KC705 evaluation board. This new 7 series targeted design platform allows customer to immediately begin evaluation of the low power, higher performance, and advanced features available in the Kintex-7 FPGA family including Artix-7 and Virtex-7 FPGAs. Designers and engineers have an easy to use, flexible FPGA platform as an alternative to inflexible and slow-to-develop ASIC or ASSP-based silicon solutions.
"In parallel with the development of the first 28nm FPGAs Xilinx refined the Xilinx ISE design tools to enable faster runtimes, enable designs that use up to 2 million logic cells, and shorten migration of AXI protocol-compliant IP initially developed in Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs to the 7 series from weeks to hours," said Bruce Kleinman, Corporate Vice President of Platform Marketing at Xilinx. "As a result of these efforts Xilinx has been able to bring up the first 7 series targeted design platform within hours with a fully operational design that demonstrates the key benefits of the 7 series devices."
The folks at Xilinx say that the Kintex-7 K325T device is the first FPGA in this class to deliver the highest number of channels per dollar at less than 12 watts of power for LTE wireless radio cards and next-generation wireless base stations. Kintex-7 FPGAs provide the optimized price performance required for flat panel displays, ultrasound equipment and many other applications and includes high-bandwidth, low jitter serial transceivers to address price sensitive wired communication applications. The Kintex-7 K325T FPGA is the first of 28 devices that make up the 7 series FPGA that includes the Artix-7 and Virtex-7 FPGA families.
About Xilinx 7 Series FPGAs
Xilinx 7 series FPGAs are built on a low-power, unified FPGA architecture that scales across low-cost and ultra-high-end families while enabling the fastest product rollout of 350 speed grade, temperature range, and package combinations.
The 28nm Artix-7, Kintex-7, and Virtex-7 families extend Xilinx's Targeted Design Platform strategy by combining breakthrough innovations in power efficiency, performance capacity, and price performance with unprecedented levels of scalability and productivity to make programmable logic more accessible to a broader community of users, end markets and applications. 7 series FPGAs utilize Stacked Silicon Interconnect technology to deploy the world's highest density 2 million logic cell FPGA, the Virtex-7 2000T device. Each 7 series device is built with a mix of features including dual 12-bit, 1 MSPS general purpose analog-to-digital converters, transceivers, DSP blocks, on-chip memory and much more. For more information on Xilinx 7 series FPGAs and Xilinx 28nm Targeted Design Platforms, visit www.xilinx.com/7.
Kintex-7 K325T FPGA initial samples are shipping now and order entry for the Kintex-7 FPGA base Targeted Design Platform that uses the Kintex-7 FPGA KC705 evaluation board will open in Q4 2011. Customers can arrange a demonstration of an advanced version of the platform now by contacting their local Xilinx representative.
The Virtex-7 485T FPGA and the 2 million logic cell 2000T will begin initial sampling in August and November of 2011, respectively. Artix-7 FPGA initial samples will ship first quarter of 2012. Customers can start designing today to take advantage of the price, performance, and low power consumption advantages offered by the 7 series FPGAs using the ISE Design Suite 13. Customers can download a full-featured 30-day evaluation versions of ISE Design Suite 13 at no charge from www.xilinx.com/tools/designtools.htm.
When Xilinx first told me about the naming convention for their forthcoming 28nm FPGAs, with "7 Series" as the global umbrella and "Artix-7, Kintex-7, and Virtex-7" as the sub-families ... I was a little "ho hum" about it all...
But, truth to tell, these names are starting to grow on me (as are the other names they are coming up with like their new "Znyq" family).
Of course, what I really CANNOT WAIT to see is the first Virtex-7 part using silicon interposer technology to mount 4 FPGA die in the same package...