Xilinx Accelerates Development of Next-Generation Systems With Industry's First Deployment of Targeted Design Platforms
Xilinx released the Xilinx Base Targeted Design Platform aimed at accelerating the development of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions with Xilinx Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). This base-level targeted design platform combines the 11.2 release of the ISE Design Suite, expanded intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and pre-verified reference designs targeting Virtex-6 or Spartan-6 FPGAs within fully integrated evaluation kits that enable design teams to dramatically shorten development cycles and focus engineering resources on creating greater product differentiation.
The new Virtex-6 FPGA and Spartan-6 FPGA Evaluation Kits are the first in a series of kits Xilinx will offer throughout the year designed to simplify the evaluation and development of SoCs with the latest generation of programmable technologies from Xilinx. These kits provide all the elements needed to design right out of the box, so both new and experienced FPGA users can achieve the best performance, lowest power, highest bandwidth, and most feature-rich utilization. In addition, the built-in scalability and plug-in expandability of the base targeted design platform kits lay the foundation for rapid deployment by Xilinx of domain-specific platform kits targeting connectivity, embedded, and digital signal processing (DSP) applications.
Base Targeted Design Platform
The Xilinx Base Targeted Design Platform, or base platform, is tuned to the needs of logic and connectivity designers with evaluation kits that contain the basic building blocks common in virtually all system designs to address a broad set of markets and applications. By utilizing these key system functions that have been pre-validated to work together in the base platform, designers are able to slash development time by as much as half compared to traditional design methodologies. Reference designs then guide designers on best practices for integrating custom elements into the base design and implementing advanced features, such as DDR2 and DDR3 memory interfaces, high-speed serial I/O, and on-chip clocking resources. Board schematics and layout files further streamline the design process.
"The Xilinx base platform is a complete FPGA development environment that reflects the way traditional hardware designers work. It gives them immediate access to the new Spartan-6 or Virtex-6 FPGA families, tools, IP, and development boards combined in a way that lets them work smarter," said Vin Ratford, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Xilinx. "Designers can leverage common IP and reference designs to shorten design time and realize productivity gains that greatly exceed conventional a la carte offerings. By spending less time on developing the infrastructure of an application, designers can spend more time adding value through innovation for their next-generation systems."
The new 11.2 version of the ISE Design Suite supports both Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA families and is designed to work with the latest software from Cadence Design Systems, Inc., Mentor Graphics Corporation, and Synopsys, Inc. The ISE Design Suite 11.2 Editions enable logic, DSP, embedded hardware/software designers and system integrators to take advantage of the new features and capabilities of Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs with optimized design environments aligned to the Xilinx Base Targeted Design Platform, as well as to future domain-specific platforms.
"Out-of-the Box" Design
Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA Evaluation Kits provide a fully integrated base platform that supports a wide range of markets and applications:
- Virtex-6 FPGA ML605 Evaluation Kit is a full-featured, highly scalable environment for developing sophisticated system designs with Virtex-6 LX240T FPGA targeted at wired telecommunications, wireless infrastructure, broadcast and other high performance applications. System-level capabilities supported include high-speed serial transceivers, PCIe Gen2 endpoints, DDR3 memory control, Gigabit Ethernet, and DVI. For more information about the ML605 Evaluation Kit, visit: http://www.xilinx.com/ml605.
- Spartan-6 FPGA SP601 Evaluation Kit is a low-cost, entry-level environment for developing consumer, infotainment, video and other cost and power-sensitive applications using the Spartan-6 LX16 FPGA. System design capabilities include DDR2 memory control, flash, Ethernet, general purpose I/O and UART to name a few. For more information about the SP601 Evaluation Kit, visit: http://www.xilinx.com/sp601.
Built-in Scalability, Maximum Flexibility
"The Xilinx base platform, which includes silicon, tools, IP and boards, provides a complete platform for rapidly creating high-performance PCI Express applications," said Brian Daellenbach, president of Northwest Logic Inc. "Northwest Logic is integrating its high-performance, easy-to-use PCI Express DMA Engine on to this platform. This DMA Engine will be packaged with a demonstration application and drivers to form a complete Connectivity Targeted Reference Design built on the new Spartan-6 and Virtex-6 FPGA base platform. Use of this Targeted Reference Design by Xilinx customers will significantly reduce system development and integration efforts accelerating time to market."
Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA Evaluation Kits are designed for maximum scalability and flexibility with a unified board strategy and open platform implementation. The release of these base platform kits marks an industry milestone with Xilinx adoption of the industry-standard FPGA mezzanine card (FMC)(1) for all board development. This standards-based approach enables the most efficient creation of specialized IP, components, and base boards with FMC connectors for daughter card extensions by Xilinx and its network of third party component and board suppliers, including Avnet Electronics, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Linear Technology, and Northwest Logic. It also creates an extensible delivery mechanism for all Xilinx targeted design platforms, including the rollout later this year of domain-specific platforms kits for connectivity, embedded, and DSP application development with Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs.
Designers can learn more about how to use Xilinx Targeted Design Platforms featuring Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs at the X-fest seminar series that will take place in locations around the globe from October 2009 through February 2010. For more information about these free one-day seminars, visit http://www.weboom.com/avnet/index.html.
Availability & Pricing
The Xilinx Base Targeted Design Platform with Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGAs enables development of SoC applications using the ISE Design Suite 11 and Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA Evaluation Kits. The Spartan-6 FPGA SP601 Evaluation Kit is available now for order entry from the Xilinx web site or distributors priced at US$295. The Virtex-6 FPGA ML605 Evaluation Kit will be available for order entry at the end of July priced at US$1995.
A fully featured edition of the ISE Design Suite 11 is available as part of the Virtex-6 FPGA kit with device support limited to the Vitex-6 LX240T-FF1156. The Spartan-6 FPGA kit includes the ISE Design Suite 11 WebPACK software. The ISE Design Suite is available separately with full device support for a list price starting at US$2,995 for the Logic Edition. Customers can download full-featured 30-day evaluation versions of ISE Design Suite 11 from the Xilinx web site at no charge. For more information about the ISE 11 software suite, visit www.xilinx.com/ISE.
(1) FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) is a VITA specification.