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Using a ZedBoard, Part 1 (Opening the Box)

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Re: Why "All Programmable SoC"?
betajet   1/23/2014 2:25:21 PM
I think Xilinx was originally going to call Zynq "your plastic pal who's fun to be with", but discovered it was trademarked by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation :-)

Originally Xilinx had traditional IC names like XC2000, XC3000, and XC4000 series.  This was back when every digital designer knew most of the 7400-series parts by heart, including their pinouts.  All you needed to sell a chip was a good part number, like "555" (mmmmmm).

Then Xilinx begat Virtex.  I don't know what that name means.  Then Xilinx begat Spartan, which is a great name because it immediately suggests "lean and mean", a nice clean architecture at an affordable price.  Spartan also has a great logo.  I've made some nice designs using Spartan IIE and Spartan 3A.

However, lately it seem that Xilinx has hired the SCC marketing people who managed to escape the firing squad.  What the heck do Kintex and Artix mean?  Quick, which one is the expensive one?  I don't know either.  As names go, Zynq isn't too bad IMO.  At least it suggests that your product is galvanized!

As for "All Programmable", to me it's pure Sirius Cybernetics marketing, like Microsoft's "All In" campaign.  I would like to see "All Programmable" fade away.  For one thing, Xilinx chips aren't All-Programmable.  You can't program the bit stream yourself: you must use Xilinx tools.  That, IMO, is completely at odds with the claim that it's All-Programmable.  That's like saying that a computer you can only program in BASIC is somehow "general-purpose".


[Yes, I realize that the "A" in BASIC stands for "all-purpose".  I think that helps prove my point.]

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Why "All Programmable SoC"?
Max The Magnificent   1/23/2014 1:22:32 PM
@Sanjib: Why is the Zynq SoC called "All Programmable" SoC?

The problem is that when FPGAs were first developed, they comprised a simple array (8x8) of logic cells, wich with a 4-input lookup table, and that was it. The FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) moniker was intended to play off the (then-popular) gate-array ASIC technology.

Over time FPGAs started to have more and more "stuff" inside, inlcuding high-speed serial interconnect, a variety of comms cores, and, of course, hard processor cores. Xilinx started using the name "All Programmable" and applying it to:

All Programmable SoCs (the Zynq)

All Programmable FPGAs

All Programmable 3D ICs (multiple FPCG and other IC cores on a common silicon interposer presented in a single package)

In th ecase of th eZynq, the way I take it is that the entire device is programmable -- but in different ways -- the ARM cores are programmed like processors and the programmable fabric is configured (programmed) like a regular FPGA.

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Why "All Programmable SoC"?
Sanjib.A   1/23/2014 1:04:27 PM
Why is the Zynq SoC called "All Programmable" SoC? Are the ARM 9 cores not hard-coded into the fabric? Is the term "AP SoC", some kind of brand name given to the Xilinx Zynq SoC or is because there are some additional pragramming flexibility features these Zynq SoCs have compared the those from Xilinx's competitors (such as Altera)? 

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