Low-cost family offers more FPGA options

A Xilinx product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Aug 19, 2008

The Extended Spartan-3A family combines new small form factor device packaging and the proven low-cost, high functionality of the Spartan-3A, Spartan-3A DSP and Spartan-3AN platforms.

Xilinx now offers small form-factor packages for its Extended Spartan-3A family of FPGAs, delivering breakthrough price points and enabling the reduction of total system costs for building cost-sensitive applications targeting consumer, wired and wireless communications, networking, industrial and many other markets.

In addition to the new package options, the Extended Spartan-3A family provides a broad range of densities (from 50,000 to 3.4 million system gates), and power management features to enable designers to drive down system costs by minimising board components and providing low-cost complex computation and embedded processing capabilities.

The Extended Spartan-3A family combines new small form factor device packaging and the proven low-cost, high functionality of the Spartan-3A, Spartan-3A DSP and Spartan-3AN platforms into a single, high-volume FPGA family.

With support for the industry's widest range of I/O standards (26) and extensive power saving and anti-cloning security features, Xilinx Spartan series is the world's most widely adopted low-cost FPGAs with over US $2.52 billion in cumulative revenue.

"By providing a fully integrated system platform, the Extended Spartan-3A Family delivers lower component counts, less expensive printed circuit boards, higher reliability, reduced testing costs and higher yields to customers in cost sensitive applications", said Patrick Dorsey, Senior Director of Marketing for high volume and low cost products at Xilinx.

"To meet their challenging cost goals, customers in high volume markets such as consumer have asked us for platforms that enable fast time to market with low cost capabilities and Xilinx has delivered".

Xilinx Extended Spartan-3A FPGA solutions reduce overall system cost by up to 50% as compared with competitive low-cost FPGAs.

This is a compelling advantage for system designers enabled by the integration of many system features to minimise the need for external components, lower static power consumption, and a robust low-cost security system.

Xilinx Spartan-3A devices are also the only low cost SRAM FPGAs with built-in power management and minimal power rail support required (only two).

The dual power management modes provide instant power savings and eliminate the need for external components such as regulators, heatsinks, buffers etc.

The suspend mode enables up to 40% static power savings, as well as quick wake up time and system-level synchronisation, while the hibernate mode uses the lowest possible quiescent power (virtually 0uA) with its unique ability to completely power off.

The Extended Spartan-3A family is the only FPGA family to support a fully compatible path between SRAM and nonvolatile FPGAs, offering a compatible path to a nonvolatile single-chip solution.

These devices offer the world's largest low cost FPGA user Flash memory, as well as the broadest support for low-cost commodity flash configuration.

Moreover, the family provides a broad offering of device package combinations, the most comprehensive intellectual property (IP) library (2x the nearest competitor), and a selection of Xilinx and third-party development boards and kits starting as low as US $39.

Designers can spend less time and money developing their own IP, while leveraging preverified IP that requires fewer chip resources.

The Extended Spartan-3A family delivers the highest functionality of any major low cost FPGA.

It is the only major low cost solution with dedicated DSP blocks, delivering an average of 70% logic efficiency over a gates-plus-multipliers implementation and functionality that enables ASIC-equivalent performance without requiring an additional co-processor chip.

The Extended Spartan-3A family provides full Linux embedded processing support with the Xilinx MicroBlaze processor.

The Extended Spartan-3A FPGA family with new package options is in production and available now.

Prices start at under US $1.00 for the slowest speed grade XC3S50A device in a VQ100 at 500,000 unit volumes in the second half of 2009.

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