Faster FPGAs

Nu Horizons has introduced the Virtex-6 family of FPGAs, the latest addition to Xilinxs high-performance FPGA range. At up to 50% lower power than previous generations, the new Virtex-6 FPGA family delivers the right mix of flexibility, hard IP cores, transceiver capabilities and development tool support that enables customers to meet the demands of markets with evolving standards and stringent performance requirements. Among the high-performance applications for which Virtex-6 devices are ideally suited are wireless infrastructure, wired networking, broadcast equipment and aerospace and defence.

In addition to its high-performance logic fabric, Virtex-6 FPGAs contain many built-in system-level blocks, including 36Kb block RAM/FIFOs, third generation DSP48E1 slices, SelectIO technology with built-in digitally controlled impedance, ChipSync source-synchronous interface blocks, system monitor functionality, enhanced mixed-mode clock management blocks, advanced configuration options, power-optimised high-speed serial transceiver blocks, PCI Express compatible integrated blocks and tri-mode Ethernet media access controllers (MACs). These features allow logic designers to build the highest levels of performance and functionality into their FPGA-based systems.

The Virtex- 6 FPGA family comprises three domain-optimised FPGA platforms that deliver different feature mixes to best address a variety of customer applications. Virtex-6 LXT FPGAs are optimised for applications that require high-performance logic, DSP, and serial connectivity with low-power GTX 6.5Gbps serial transceivers. Virtex-6 SXT FPGAs are optimised for applications that require ultra high-performance DSP and serial connectivity with low-power GTX 6.5Gbps serial transceivers. Virtex-6 HXT FPGAs are optimised for communications applications that require the highest-speed serial connectivity with up to 64 GTH serial transceivers supporting up to 11.2Gbps.

Built on a 40nm process using third-generation Xilinx ASMBL architecture, the Virtex-6 FPGA family is supported by a new generation of development tools and the vast library of IP already available for the Virtex-5 FPGA family to ensure productive development and design migration. Providing 15% higher performance and 15% lower power consumption compared to competitive 40nm FPGA offerings, the new devices operate on a 1.0V core voltage with a 0.9V low-power option. These advances enable system architects to integrate Virtex-6 FPGAs into their designs for ‘green’ central offices and data centres, which is particularly relevant for the telecommunications industry as it implements the next wave of scaling to support demand for internet video and rich media content.